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Hill County Commission sign letter of support for MT Silver Jackets


March 22, 2019

The Hill County commissioners signed off on a support letter Thursday for the Montana Silver Jackets.

Commissioner Michael Wendland said the letter is to give the group a “blessing to look at the (Milk River) levee.”

The Montana Silver Jackets is a interagency group that works together to reduce flood risk at the state level. Through this program the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, additional federal, state and sometimes local and tribal agencies provide a unified approach to addressing a state’s priorities.

The Silver Jackets have helped Hill County during many serious floods.

“Often, no single agency has the complete solution, but each may have one or more pieces to contribute,” Certified Flood Manager Traci Sears said. “Together, these agencies can come together and collaboratively plan and implement that interagency solution.”

Oftentimes the agencies involved will include FEMA, HUD, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, as well as State agencies such as the Montana DNRC, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency.

Wendland said “the Montana Silver Jackets are here to study the levee and how functional it is,” and to “determine what would happen if the levee were to break.”

He added that they are also here to follow up on the systemwide improvement framework that is in progress.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has ruled the levee does not meet standards due to operations and maintenance deficiencies. The county has been working to address those issues.

The Hill County commissioners also issued an additional letter of support to the Tri-Agency Task Force for their work throughout Hill County and beyond. The task force has extended its reach east, and now covers the area encompassing Blaine, Phillip and Daniels counties, as well as Glasgow, Fort Peck, Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy. The letter was signed by all three members of the commission.

Vice Chair Diane McLean addressed the issue of notifying the public of open positions.

“We post open positions on the bulletin board in the courthouse and update it on a weekly basis.”  

Wendland said later that the county is starting to post online on the website and an online news source.

“We’re seeing more traffic online then with the courthouse bulletin board,” he said.


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