A Light in the Dark: What Montanans are Doing to Help Flood Victims
After a week of flood warnings, the morning of Monday, June 13 saw some major flood events in Montana, particularly in Carbon, Yellowstone, Park, and Stillwater counties. Many have lost their homes, property, and sense of safety, leaving communities shocked and saddened, but determined to help their neighbors.
Though we see a lot of loss right now, the instinct Montanans have to help one another has never been more evident. It's important to recognize the good we see come out in people during trying times. Montanans are a hardy folk, and we'll make it through. Here's what people are doing to help flooding communities, and ways flooding communities are asking for help.
In Red Lodge, community members are asking for food and water donations, as most of the town's water has been shut off. Supplies can be dropped off at any county maintenance shop between Rockvale and Red Lodge.
Community members are also asking for help hauling supplies and sandbags throughout town, if you can make it there safely. You can also donate to the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation.
It's heartwarming to see so many community members offering up housing, spaces to keep campers, and donations on Facebook groups like the Red Lodge Classifieds and Red Lodge Buzz.
A Billings-based food truck, Cajun Phatty's, is traveling to Red Lodge to offer free food as well. Ox Indoor Axe Throwing is delivering pallets of bottled water as well. Church of the Rockies is open for shelter and is handing out bottled water. Rock Creek Church is also offering bottled water.
Communities all around Red Lodge are seeing flooding as well. Parts of Yellowstone are being evacuated, and smaller towns downstream, like Bridger, Fromberg, and Joliet, are seeing flooding as well, affecting farmers' feedlots and fields, and residents' property. According to Carbon Alert, Fromberg wells have been turned off. Both Bridger and Fromberg are accepting bottled water and food donations, which can be dropped off at their food banks or schools. Below, you can see a small building floating down the Clarks Fork River in Bridger, Montana.
Additionally, the Red Cross is opening an emergency shelter at Hope Lutheran Church on 2152 Graf Street in Bozeman, for those affected by flooding in Livingston and other Park County areas. We'll keep our ears open for more ways to help these communities, and others, like those closer to Yellowstone, including Roscoe and Cooke City, going forward.