LAUREL — As the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River rose last week near Laurel, and residents were worried about protecting homes and livestock, one Laurel couple received a phone call that saved all of their horses.
Joe and Carol Blades own 17 horses on their 40 acres of land in Laurel. Just one week ago, they watched as the flood waters crept onto their property and into their horse pasture. It was a sight they’d never seen before.
“The water kept rising, and we started getting nervous,” said Joe Tuesday.
That is when they received a call from Bobby and Clayton Miller, the owners of the nearby Miller’s Horse Palace, asking if they needed help getting their animals out of the pasture. At first the Blades declined, thinking the horses would be fine.
“Bobby called me back a little bit later and says you better get them horses out of there. We are going to be there in 20 minutes with a horse trailer,” Joe said.
It turns out, that decision was made not a moment to soon.
“If they would have been 30 minutes later, we wouldn’t have gotten the horses out,” Joe said.
The Blades have owned horses for 20 years, and Joe team ropes at Miller's Horse Palace. The Blades say the horses would have been fine in the water, but debris from the river knocked down several fences. That means the horses, including their colts, would have gotten out.
The Blades are very thankful for help they didn’t even think they needed.
“Those two Miller men had our backs when we didn’t even know we needed help,” said Carol Tuesday.
Neighbors helping neighbors and community heroes just doing what they can to help out.
“Simple acts of kindness go a long ways in a situation like this,” Carol said.