River Awareness Summit
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
What: A full day of events designed to stimulate community discussion of the challenges and opportunities associated with Miles City's close relationship with the Yellowstone and Tongue rivers.

Sponsored by the City of Miles of Miles City in cooperation with many Federal, State and local agencies and organizations, including the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

When: Tuesday, April 29th
EVENTS throughout the day
9:00 - Exhibit Hall opens (MCC Centra)
9:00 - "Rolling River" flood demonstration opens thru 3:00 (MCC Centra)
9:30/11/1:30/3:00 - Discussion and education sessions (Various MCC classrooms)
5:30 - Keynote speaker: Don Youngbauer, Chairman, YRCDC (MCC Centra)
6:00 - Panel Discussion by Invited Experts with Q&A (MCC Centra)

Where: Miles Community College - 2715 Dickinson - Miles City
Exhibit Hall and Information Desk - Centra auditorium
"Rolling River" demonstration - Centra plaza
Sessions: Various MCC classrooms
Keynote and Panel discussion - Centra auditorium

River Awareness Summit program with specific information about each discussion and education session will be available soon. Please check back often for more information.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/20/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/20/2008).]
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Posted by Clyde Leischner (+309) 12 years ago
Steve, this sounds like a wonderful gathering of information. Is this symposium addressing the dike issue, flood insurance or the FEMA or Corp of Engineers latest designation of the flood plain?
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will be at the Summit to discuss various topics throughout the day. Information will be shared during several classroom sessions, at the agencies' booths in the Exhibit Hall, and as part of the expert panel discussion and Q&A that starts at 6:00 p.m. in the Centra Building.

FEMA staff will provide information and answer questions regarding the National Flood Insurance Program as well as the digital floodplain mapping program that it is using to produce an updated draft Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The process that FEMA will follow later this year to publicly review the updated draft map will also be described. Please note that FEMA representatives will not be able to provide individual policy quotes or other insurance information regarding specific properties, and that the Summit is not part of the process to review the proposed draft FIRM map.

USACE staff will describe and discuss the flood risk modeling and mapping process, recent advances in flood control techniques and methods, and other programs and projects it is involved in on the Yellowstone and other rivers in the USACE Omaha District.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/21/2008).]
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
A few more details have firmed up in the last few days regarding the keynote speaker, expert panel, and exhibitors for the River Awareness Summit.

Don Youngbauer, chairperson of the Yellowstone River Conservation District Council, will deliver the keynote address at 5:30 p.m. in the Centra.

At 6:00 p.m. Dr. Youngbauer will participate in a discussion with a panel comprised of:
- Greg Johnson, Program Manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers;
- Shandi Teltschik, Floodplain Management & Insurance Branch Chief, FEMA;
- Laurence Siroky, Water Operations Bureau Chief for Montana DNRC; and
- Joe Whalen, Mayor of Miles City (Moderator)
A Question and Answer period will follow the panel discussion.

The Exhibit Hall, which opens at 9:00 a.m. in the Centra, will feature booths with information and provide opportunities for one-to-one discussions with representatives of the following agencies and organizations:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- National Weather Service
- Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
- Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
- Yellowstone River Conservation Council
- Custer County Conservation District
- Northern Plains Resource Council
and many others!

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/23/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/23/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/23/2008).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14599) 12 years ago
Maybe we can raise the dike with old junk cars!
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Posted by Tony Ackerman (+192) 12 years ago
Nah, that was tried already, part of the problem we're faced with now.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14599) 12 years ago
Yup, it sure is!
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
Here is an update on information that will be available in the Exhibit Hall:
- USDA Rural Development - various programs
- Parkvest - Spotted Eagle trails and other potential improvements
- American Red Cross - we all know (and appreciate) what they do
- and, new Miles City resident Bob Raper and his HOT AIR BALLOON
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
April 28, 2008

Dear Neighbor:
I want to encourage you to attend the River Awareness Summit. Miles City's prime location at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Tongue rivers brings with it rich opportunities and important challenges. It is my hope that the River Awareness Summit will help us develop a broader understanding and deeper appreciation of both the opportunities and challenges that go hand-in-hand with living in this beautiful place that we all call home.

Two recent events spurred the idea to hold this Summit. First, in February we learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating the floodplain map used to determine flood insurance requirements. A few weeks later, we held a disaster preparedness drill to measure our ability to respond as a City to a large-scale emergency. In both cases, it is apparent that a key ingredient for attaining satisfactory results is public involvement and awareness.

So, one goal of the Summit is to help us learn more about flood threats and effective methods of flood control and mitigation. However, these rivers also provide us with a rainbow of recreational opportunities and enrich our lives with natural beauty on a daily basis. Therefore, another goal of the Summit is to help us engage the rivers in more productive and positive ways as we learn how to be better stewards of these wonderful natural resources.

I encourage you to take advantage of and participate in as many seminars, exhibits and discussions as you can. Representatives of Federal, State and local agencies and organizations will be on hand to discuss the issues that we face, and to describe the programs they offer to help avoid or recover from the misfortunes of a flood as well as to help us make the most of our good fortune of living next to these beautiful rivers.

Working together as neighbors, we can and will build a healthier and stronger relationship between Miles City and its neighbors - the Yellowstone and the Tongue.

Sincerely,

Joe R. Whalen
MAYOR
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Posted by extreme conditions (+31) 12 years ago
Mayor, You make it sound so warm and fuzzy the plan to acquire peoples homes. That is what the words mitigation and acquisition mean when refering to this subject right? I've done my research and it's a pretty tough sell for the folks of Miles City. Most areas that this program is instituted in have been flooded several times and every year institute measures related to flooding. But I guess that FEMA doesn't think Miles City's rebuilding or updating the dike is top priority for them because they denied the grant. So now you've applied for a grant that will help the city fund the buying of peoples homes in the floodway. But first their property values will be driven to bargan basement prices. Cheaper for the city and the Federal goverment. If property owners then choose not to sell measures will be taken to prevent improvement on their property. Making living in the floodway difficult.So property owners in the proposed floodway BEWARE. I would encourage all of you to homestead on your property. Propably won't help but it's something.
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founder
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11292) 12 years ago
1) "Homesteading" your property does nothing.

2) The City does not have the authority to condemn property under eminent domain. Only the County can do that.

3) My aunt and uncle had their house moved by the Federal gov't under a flood plain program. They were paid for the old property, had the house moved to a better property and were free from flooding. They were delighted when it was all done. Relocation is not necessarily a bad thing.

4) Something HAS to be done. Period. The dikes need improvement. People need to stop driving all over them for fun, causing damage. The flood map needs to be updated but it is not yet set in stone.

5) Yes, some people may have to move because they live in an area that floods. They will not be left destitute. They may even be better off after they move because they will no longer be in a flood prone area.

6) Panic is NOT necessary. Information is. Not rumor or gossip or my friend of a friend said that he heard from somebody but actual, concrete, factual information.

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (edited 4/29/2008).]
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Posted by r martelle (+646) 12 years ago
I am sure there will be (or was) some very good information provided. It would have been nice for the event to have been scheduled to accommodate the working public. Such as on a Saturday.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11292) 12 years ago
Problem is, none of the official gov't people like the FEMA folks work on weekends. So. . .there is a session tonight you can still catch!
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Posted by r martelle (+646) 12 years ago
The problem is that THEY WORK FOR US. If they truly want involvement of the most people who are affected by their decisions, they should make themselves available to us. I work in government. When we want to inform our constituents, we hold our meetings when the most people are likely to come. We do not use the excuse that we do not work on weekends or evenings.
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supporter
Posted by r martelle (+646) 12 years ago
Oops, I have to get used to the commands here. Sorry for the double post.
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
The River Awareness Summit was the first of what will be a series of activities designed to facilitate communication between government agencies, community organizations and the public. Additional opportunities will be provided in the coming months to obtain information, to have discussions with agency staff and other experts, and to get involved in the planning and decision-making process regarding the future of Miles City -- that is, the future of everyone who lives in this area. Whenever possible, these events will be scheduled in the evenings or on Saturdays to allow those who work during the week - as well as for students - to participate without having to make undue sacrifices.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 4/30/2008).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night with the crystal clear realization that you forgot to do something? Well, that happened to me last night when I realized that I didn't directly answer the question "Why was the Summit held on a Tuesday?"

There is a very reasonable and responsible reason behind "The Tuesday Issue." We had staff members from two different federal agencies coming in from two different faraway places. The two Army Corps engineers who presented at the Summit are based in Omaha, and the numerous FEMA folks (I lost count of how many, but there were at least 5) are officed in Denver. (Side note: The Corps was going to send a third representative, but Kim had to cancel at the last minute due to pressing needs elsewhere.) (An amusing sidenote for those of you who attended Randy Behm's session on "River Challenges": The reason that Randy had technical difficulties with his presentation is that she [Kim] had his computer with her so it also didn't come == which was unfortunate because his computer happens to have thee very latest version of powerpoint software on it which, apparently, nobody else in America has yet. But I digress.)

The point (and I do have one) is that both FEMA and the Corps have tight travel budgets. The Summit was scheduled to coincide with other meetings that these people had in Billings and Livingston. In other words, we scrambled to put this event together to take advantage of the fact that these folks were going to "be in the neighborhood." The reason for holding the Summit on Tuesday was directly related to using your (and my) tax dollars wisely and only cursorily related to fitting it into the conventional workweek. If the meetings in Billings and Livingston could have been held on a Friday, we would have had the Summit on a Saturday.

I think I can safely say that Greg Johnson (Corps), Shandi Teltschik (FEMA), and the other Federal folks who came up will be happy to meet with us on a Saturday whenever their schedules and budgets will allow. Stay tuned.

Oh, one other thing I forgot --- THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Summit -- and a special THANKS to those of you who had to make special arrangments to do so.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 5/2/2008).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 5/2/2008).]
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+847) 12 years ago
I have posted the videos I collected at the River Summit. I have not had time to make comments yet, but I will be doing so in the coming weeks.

I really wish more people could have attended. I understand that many people could not get away from work. I did not attend all the programs, but I did attend the following:

FWP Presents : "River as Friend - Opportunities for Engagement"
Miles City Historic Preservation Society Presents: "A Flood of Memories"
FEMA Presents : "Floodplane Map Modernization"
Don Youngbauer (Yellowstone Conservation District Council) : Keynote Speaker
Army Corps of Engineers, Miles City, Yellowstone Conservation District Council, DNRC and FEMA presents "Question and Answer Session"

I did not get the presentation regarding Flood Insurance 101. I could not be in two places at the same time.

http://www.milescityvoice...ticleId=15

If you could not attend this summit, I highly encourage watching these videos. I know a lot of people were very interested but could not come. Some of this information was VERY educational.

Thanks,

Eric
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supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2735) 12 years ago
Thanks Eric! Fantastic work and I'm very happy that more people will have access to the information that was presented. We do have more FEMA brochures that are available to the public free of charge.

One booklet deals with disaster preparedness and is entitled "Are You Ready: An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness." I've heard several people say that every home in America should have one of these.

The other booklet is entitled "Answers to Questions About the NFIP" and it addresses many frequently asked questions regarding about the National Flood Insurance Program and its policies.

For now, the booklets are available at City Hall. We are going to try to make them available at other more convenient locations around Miles City. Stay tuned -- I will post a list of outlets soon.
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