Flooding question
Posted by rhshilling (+89) 6 years ago
We are moving from eastern Nevada to Miles City at the end of September. I have been looking online at houses for sale and some of the houses and apartments for rent. In many of the house for sale ads, they mention whether the house is in or out of the flood zone or whether it is or can be LOMA'ed.
My question is, How frequent is there flooding in Miles City? I understand with the confluence of the Tonue River and the Yellowstone River that there is a good possibility of flooding, but does it flood every year? Once every ten years?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 6 years ago
Statistically, no. Maybe ever 25 years or so and then our average depth of flood is 18 inches. Basement carpet gets ruined but no is ever hurt or anything bigger than a chicken coop swept away. Usually, floods are caused by ice on the rivers but thanks to global warming, the rivers don't freeze the way they used to.

The big problem is our 'dike' is NOT up to Army Corps of Engineers standards so we all pretty much have to pay flood insurance unless you get a letter of map amendment if the property qualifies. I don't have a mortgage so I don't have flood insurance since I know the last time my house flooded was 1928. HOWEVER, if you have a mortgage, you WILL have to have insurance.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17331) 6 years ago
It's a long, long, sordid tale. Miles City is protected by a dike, but the dike does not meet FEMA standards. Consequently, it is difficult if not impossible to get flood insurance in many parts of town. The dike protects the town from flooding, except for some rare circumstances when an ice jam builds up, and then flooding is limited to the northernmost portion of town. Maybe once every 20 years?

Use the search engine feature of this site and type in "FEMA" and you will read endless threads and posts on the subject. Probably a lot more than you want to know.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17331) 6 years ago
And if Amorette and I are saying the same thing, then, you know it must be right.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 6 years ago
"except for some rare circumstances when an ice jam builds up"

Or when someone cuts a hole in it to irrigate some of their property (i swear that Amorette said something about that once)
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 6 years ago
Not to irrigate his property. He liked to fish and wanted quick access to the river so he cut a notch in the dike to move his boat through and was very surprised when the river returned the favor the next year.
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Posted by David Schott (+17055) 6 years ago
So it was an unintentional irrigation?
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+760) 6 years ago
During real hard down pours, like 2 - 3 inches an hour. The streets stand full and basements sometimes get water in them, either from water going over the curb, low areas or storm sewers and toilets being backed up. Don't let anyone scare you, it isn't often, deep, widespread or dangerous.

Been here since 72 and I have not seen any major flooding except low lying areas out of town by the rivers.

After all we do only get 15 - 20 inches of moisture a year.
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Posted by Oddjob (+194) 6 years ago
Reply to Amorette Allison (#360980)
Amorette Allison wrote:
Not to irrigate his property. He liked to fish and wanted quick access to the river so he cut a notch in the dike to move his boat through and was very surprised when the river returned the favor the next year.


So, where did this tale come from Amorette?

I'm sure the folks would like the who, when, what, where and how on this one.

Especially those of us who were not there to experience the fact that some idiot in Miles City actually cut a hole in the dike.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 6 years ago
There was a lumber yard on the north side near the Yellowstone. I do not want to mention the man's name because he still has family in Miles City and would probably prefer that their grandfather's massive mistake not be brought up again. IF you are that curious, I think it was 1974. Visit the library.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 6 years ago
Amorette as usual is correct with her facts. I remember the incidence vividly as it was published in the Miles City Star.

Often what you think is liberal propaganda, Oddjob are factual. I was born during the depression and remember much of the years I lived though. I remember a lot of what I read. And yes, I have been influenced by writers like Mike Royko and Molly Ivans who had a way of exposing politicians with great sardonic humor.
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+760) 6 years ago
We bought material for our roofing company there
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Posted by ike eichler (+1226) 6 years ago
The big "Flood" was mid March 1979.
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Posted by Phil Shifley (+116) 6 years ago
LOL, yes an idiot (imagine finding one of those in Miles City) did in fact dig a trench through the dike. Hereafter referred to as "Mr. R" grew and sold sweet corn in a field North of his lumber yard. He ran an irrigation pipe through the dike and as can be expected that was the cause of the 1979 flood of the North side of town. I still can't figure out why he was never held accountable for the damages.
Anyhow, as far as I know that was the only actual flood in my lifetime. Chime in if anyone else knows of others? All of the other water related issues in Miles City were due to abnormal rainfall and not actually the rivers. As I understand it, the main cause of the occasional wet basement floor is the underpass. This feature overwhelms the city drainage system causing them to back up during "heavy" rainfall. Many residents have solved their problems by installing a simple check valve in their systems and have no issues ever since. So in response to the OP, there is reference to a 100 year flood interval for certain areas of town.
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Posted by cj sampsel (+479) 6 years ago
If I remember correctly flooding at the mouth of the Tongue was common in the Late 60s early 70s w/ the ice jams. Recall one time Leaoda(sp) Hendricks on KATL's party line complaining about the turds and toilet paper floating by her place.
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Posted by Phil Shifley (+116) 6 years ago
I know it shouldn't be, but that's funny. She lived over in the slough area, (original tongue river bed) it used to fill up when the water table got high on occasion.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1226) 6 years ago
David is going to post some photos of the 1979 flood that appeared in the Star. The main cause of the flood was ice jams, although other factors did contribute.
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Posted by David Schott (+17055) 6 years ago
Here are the pictures that Ike sent. Thanks for sharing the pictures, Ike.

March 1979 Flood, Miles City

March 1979 Flood, Miles City

March 1979 Flood, Miles City

March 1979 Flood, Miles City
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+760) 6 years ago
Well the "R" name is out now thanks to the photo. LOL. That flood stayed on the far north side. It never got to Garfield school. Now I remember once that the slough flooded to the point where it almost topped the Tatro street rise. We lived on that corner across from both the old school and the new one. I used to have photos but got rid of them.
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