DENVER – Updates to Wheatland County, Montana’s flood insurance rate maps are nearing completion. The new maps will provide portions of the Musselshell River and Antelope Creek in Wheatland County with more accurate flood risk information that can help local officials and residents make informed decisions about reducing flood risks and purchasing flood insurance.
The mapping project was initiated in 2014 and is a joint effort between counties and towns along the Musselshell River, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and FEMA. It is part of a nationwide effort led by FEMA to increase local knowledge of flood risk and support actions to address and reduce that risk.
In Wheatland County, the project involved flood study work on 37 miles of the Musselshell River from the Golden Valley County boundary to approximately five miles west of Harlowton, and three miles of Antelope Creek. New and updated flood insurance rate maps were produced, indicating areas at risk of flooding in a one-percent annual chance flood event. The new floodplain maps will be used to replace existing floodplain maps from 1981 and portions of the Musselshell River around Shawmut that currently have no existing floodplain maps.
The remainder of Wheatland County’s 1981 floodplain maps were not updated as part of the project.
Updated flood insurance rate maps for Golden Valley County went into effect in 2021, and in Musselshell, Rosebud, and Petroleum Counties in 2019.
Officials encourage residents and business owners to review the proposed maps to learn about the flood threat in their area, and potential future flood insurance purchase requirements.
Once preliminary maps are released, there is a 90-day appeal period during which community members can provide additional data for consideration before the maps are final. This appeal period ends on July 13, 2022. Appeal packages should address scientific or technical mistakes in the maps and must include supporting data or engineering documentation.
The proposed maps can be viewed online at http://www.floodplain.mt.gov/musselshell and at the county and city offices.
If you have technical and scientific information, such as detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, you may be able to appeal the flood risk information on the proposed maps during the 90-day appeal period. For further details on this process, visit http://www.floodplain.mt.gov/musselshell or contact Page Dringman, Wheatland County Floodplain Administrator at 406-932-5470, or Tiffany Lyden, DNRC Floodplain Outreach Specialist at 406-444-0599.
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