Stricter Levee Regs Looming for Montana Communities

March 15, 2010

Representatives of riverside communities in Montana say looming federal requirements that they upgrade or certify local levee systems could overwhelm small town budgets.

Homeowners in areas that don’t meet the requirements would see flood insurance rates increase.

The government is in the midst of re-mapping what parts of the country are vulnerable to flooding — and including many areas once considered outside of floodplains. Communities grappling with the issue include Great Falls, Glendive, Miles City and Malta.

After hearing concerns from local officials in Great Falls, Mont., Sen. Jon Tester said he would press the Army Corps of Engineers to cover certification costs.

Rep. Denny Rehberg also wants more help for small communities, while Sen. Max Baucus introduced a bill requiring the government to pay most of the costs.

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