County warns Gibson Flats area residents of flooding dangers; need for permit to work in designated flood area

Cascade County officials issued a notice on Dec. 3 warning Gibson Flats area residents of the increased risk of flooding following the Dec. 1 fire in that area.

Residents are required to submit emergency notification to the Cascade County Planning Department for work in the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s special flood hazard area.

County officials also encouraged affected residents to get flood insurance for their homes, businesses and property in the flood-prone areas.

Fire burning in Gibson Flats area

“As the Gibson Flats area recovers from the recent devastation caused by fire, Cascade County warns residents living in and surrounding fire areas about the high risk of flash flooding and mudflows, and urges them to protect their homes, businesses, and property with flood insurance,” according to a Dec. 3 release. “Wildfires result in a loss of vegetation and leave the ground charred and unable to absorb water. This creates conditions for flooding. Even areas that are not traditionally flood prone are at risk of flooding for up to several years after a fire.”

Citizens who have lost structures in the fire in FEMA’s designated special flood hazard area must contact the Cascade County Planning Department at 406-454-6905 or go to the county website to complete an emergency notification form prior to or within five days of doing any work on their property including, but not limited to, structural debris removal, excavation, grading, and/or placing any structures within the special flood hazard area, according to the county.

Recreation vehicles may be placed in the special flood hazard area for no more than 180 consecutive days but must remain road ready.

“Floods are the most common and expensive natural disaster in the U.S. Just an inch of water in an averaged-size home can cause more than $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that protects homes and belongings,” according to the county.

For more information, please contact the Cascade County Planning Department at 406-454-6905.