Montana Gets Break From Levee Mandate

April 7, 2010

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says federal officials have delayed for a year a plan to decertify levees in Great Falls, Mont., an action that could have spurred higher flood insurance rates.

Across the country, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is requiring people in flood plains to verify their levees are safe or face potential insurance hikes.

Some rural communities are having a hard time paying for the safety checks. The West Great Falls Levee District faced an April 28 deadline to be certified or risk new areas being designated flood plains.

Tester said that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told him she would cancel the deadline and send a team to Montana to help the city through the process. That gives the city another year to address the issue.

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