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Massive flooding causing evacuations in Laurel

laurel cows flooding.jpg
Posted at 6:54 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 12:21:31-04

Yellowstone County joined Park, Stillwater and Carbon counties Tuesday with massive flooding and evacuations.

Fields used for cattle grazing and yards of homes became home to standing water and a flowing river. The Clarks Fork River began to overtake dozens of homes in south Laurel along the Thiel Road corridor as residents did what they could to adjust to rapidly changing conditions.

"The pump house is already submerged and what is normally our pond is completely underwater," said Carah Ronan, who lives on Nicholas Lane in Laurel.

Water levels rose quickly and caught many residents off guard.

"I got a phone call yesterday that the river was going to get high. I didn't think much of it because we've been here since 1968," neighbor Tanas Leischner of Laurel said.

This sudden flooding has drawn comparisons to flooding in the same area in 2011. On Monday, Laurel Mayor Dave Waggoner declared a disaster for the city of Laurel, which opens the door for residents, businesses and other groups to apply for disaster aid.

Many in this area of Laurel are also concerned about replacing livestock as they aim to mitigate damage to their homes and livelihoods.