Amsterdam residents prepare for potential flood danger


Amsterdam residents prepare for potential flood danger

AMSTERDAM, Mont. - Late winter and spring have been unseasonably cool this year. That has allowed snowpack in many areas to stack up to levels well above normal, and our First Alert team is tracking a potential warmup. It's raising renewed concerns of flooding.

We caught up with residents who have already had to fight high water once this year.

Bonnie Anzick lives in Amsterdam, one of the areas hit by the flooding seen last month. About the flood, she said, "When I got home I had a river running through my front yard."

It's not an experience she is looking to go through again and she showed NBC Montana some of the steps she's taking to make sure she doesn't have to, like stacking sandbags to divert water away from her home.

She told us, "In my crawlspace I have dug some preventative measures into the dirt and put some sandbags up and down there."

Many we spoke to in Amsterdam are doing the same thing, with sandbags stacked over window wells or in the garage within arms reach in the event of a flood.

We spoke to Ron Lindroth, fire chief for the Central Valley Fire Department in Belgrade. He told us, "If you have people stating there's a risk of this, it's always prudent to take that advisement."

Lindroth say folks can have a tendency not to prepare, saying, "We as human beings have the idea that this can only happen to somebody else but not ourselves."

Lindroth explained that the best way to handle any emergency is to have a plan and be ready to put that plan into action when disaster strikes. "We want to identify within that plan any mitigation steps that we can take ahead of time to remove the risk of floods if that's at all possible."

Anzick is certainly taking heed while bracing for the worst.

"You just do what you can and hope it doesn't happen," Anzick said. "But a little bit of prevention probably goes a long way too."

There are specific steps emergency services say people can take to prepare for floods. Make sure your insurance is up to date; it takes 30 days for flood insurance to take effect. Create a list of belongings and back up photos and important documents off site. Have at least three days of food and water on hand. And keep sandbags and sand ready to be placed where needed.

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