Lindeen to tour flood-damaged Huntley Project Irrigation District, review proposed floodplain changes –

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HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen will join Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy Thursday, June 9 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm to tour the flood-damaged Huntley Project irrigation district and areas in Huntley that could be added to the map of federally-recognized floodplains. The tour follows record flooding in southeast Montana which damaged homes, farms, ranches, businesses and infrastructure.

“This year’s floods have hit close to home for a lot of Montanans, myself included,” said Lindeen. “Creeks and rivers across the state have risen to levels we haven’t seen in decades, and we may not be out of this mess yet. Natural disasters like this remind us that we always need to plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Part of that preparation means purchasing insurance well in advance.”

For many families and small businesses in Montana, purchasing flood insurance may soon be a necessity. Proposed changes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain map will require homes and businesses in the new floodplain zone to purchase flood insurance backed by the federal government. Premiums for flood insurance vary significantly based on the insured property’s location and the amount of coverage – annual residential premiums can range from $130 to more than $2,700.

Flooding along Pryor Creek caused by heavy rain and melting snowpack washed out sections of the Huntley Project Irrigation District’s canal system two weeks ago. Temporary repairs to the district’s dike could cost as much as $250,000. Without the repairs, nearly 30,000 acres of irrigated land could go without water this summer, costing $17 million in lost crops.

WHO: Monica Lindeen, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County Commissioner, Tim Miller, Yellowstone County Floodplain Administrator

WHAT: Tour of flood damage to Huntley Project irrigation district, proposed new floodplains in the Pryor Creek area

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 2:00pm

WHERE: Tour will start at the Pryor Creek Bar, 15 Northern Avenue, Huntley, MT

VISUALS: Lindeen and Kennedy will tour damage to the Huntley Project irrigation canal system, then review FEMA’s new floodplain maps and discuss their impact on local residents.