Officials Warn Lolo Residents Of Flash Flood Risks - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Officials Warn Lolo Residents Of Flash Flood Risks

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LOLO -

Emergency officials are warning residents along Highway 12 affected by last summer's Lolo Complex Fires, to prepare for flooding, debris slides and flash flooding.

A team made up of local response agencies visited residents in Lolo on Tuesday, who they believe to be the most in danger of flash flooding.

"It burnt all the way down to here to the back of the brick wall," said Chelsea Paulson.

The Paulson family, like thousands of others who live along Highway 12, experienced quite a scare when the Lolo Complex fire made its way toward their property.

"We were definitely with the group who was evacuated," Paulson said.

Now people living in the area are dealing with a different type of danger.

"Residents under normal circumstances may not even have water flowing on their property. However this year, because of burn and because of fire scarred landscape, they may have large amount of water and debris flowing on their property."

The Missoula Sheriff's Office formed a team made up of all local response agencies to have a plan in case flash flooding, flooding or debris flows happen.

"The goal of this IMT is to provide information to citizens to empower them to make informed decisions to protect themselves and their property," said Lt. David Conway with the Missoula Sheriff's Office.

Conway said all residents in the area should be ready for main stream flooding, due to rising water levels. Their focus Tuesday was visiting with residents who are the most in danger of flash flooding.

"When we get thunderstorms in the summer, we get large debris flows bringing boulders trees and lots of water with it," said Ray Nickless with the National Weather Service.

Officials with the National Weather Service, Missoula Rural Fire, Missoula County Sheriff's Office visited 10 homes near the most extreme burn scars. They gave those at home tips on how to protect their property from flooding, and left flood resource information for those who weren't home.

"Where we have highest intensity burns is where we really get concerned," Nickless said.

Officals said even if they didn't come to your home, it's never a bad idea to be prepared. 

If you are concerned about flash flooding near your home, visit the National Weather Service or Missoula County Sheriff's Office, or call the sheriff's office at 258-4810.

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