Safeguarding your home against flooding


On and off rain through the weekend raises concerns of flooding along Missoula's waterways. Missoula Disaster and Emergency Services says they are in the monitoring phase for flooding.

According to Five Valleys Restoration and Cleaning owner Matt Cavanaugh, two types of flooding can occur: water can spew over the banks of a river or it can come from the ground due to excess amounts of moisture causing water tables to rise.

Preventive measures can be taken. Sandbagging is often used to beat water as it comes over the riverbanks, or if flooding is expected homeowners can get a sub-pump system.

The director of DES doesn't expect major flooding on either of the main rivers that run through town, but one or two inches of rain could produce stream flooding.

If flooding does happen, Cavanaugh first suggests removing any valuables and placing them somewhere safe, and then focusing on getting the water out.

"Take the measures to protect yourself. Water that comes into your basement from a river is grossly unsanitary. We don't know what's in it and working down there with no gloves, no respirators, no protective equipment for yourself...just protect yourself, protect your family. We put up plastic for containment to keep what's downstairs, downstairs and the rest out of the house."

Cavanaugh also says that if flooding occurs where there are heaters or furnaces, the gas needs to be turned off. He also warns that water needs to be pumped out in sections or else the foundation of the home could collapse due to the pressure being equalized.

Unfortunately, any materials flood water touches has to be torn out.

Residents can go to the Public Works office to pick up sand bags, however that are responsible for filling it themselves. For updates and emergency alerts from the county, you can download Smart911 on your phone.


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