Emergency Plan may lower flood insurance rates

By: 
Amorette Allison
Star Staff Writer
The Miles City Levee Emergency Action Plan, which may help reduce flood insurance premiums in the community, was approved last week by the Miles City Council’s Flood Control Committee.
Miles City Flood Control Administrator Sam Malenovsky explained that the plan was “a procedure on what we would do in the event of a flood or potential flood.”
The plan, according to Malenovsky, was created by several agencies including the state Department of Natural Resources, the state Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Army Corp of Engineers, all of whom are concerned with flooding and its aftermath.
Malenovsky explained that having such a professionally prepared emergency action plan in place gave the city points with the Community Rating System, which helps determine flood insurance costs.
This is one of many actions Malenovsky has taken to help reduce flood insurance premiums in the past few years.
Previous actions include updating the flood plain ordinance to incorporate more-stringent construction standards, and securing credit for higher standards that were already in city building codes and had been overlooked. She is now working on getting credit for storm water maintenance and the emergency notification system, including the sirens and the new text alert system recently instituted through the county planner.
At Wednesday’s meeting, committee member Rick Huber had the only question for Malenovsky. He wanted to know if drafting the plan, or implementing the plan, had any costs to the city. She said there is no cost.
The Emergency Action Plan will be sent to the full Miles City Council with the unanimous recommendation of the Flood Control Committee, which also includes Brant Kassner and Chairman Jeff Erlenbusch.
Preliminary survey work continues being conducted by the Army Corps continues. A new levee system would result in flood plain map revisions that would remove most structures in miles city from the flood plain, negating the need for costly flood insurance.
That long-term project is still several years out but the emergency plan could help in the meantime.
The plan identifies situations that will trigger monitoring; determines where staging areas for response teams will be established; and identifies areas to stockpile materials and supplies. Methods of alerting the public to possible flood activity are also included in the plan, along with plans for dealing with specific issues such as a breach in the levee.
(Contact Amorette Allison at mcreporter@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.

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