RED LODGE — After dozens were evacuated from homes on the east side of Rock Creek in Red Lodge Monday, the evacuation center at the Carbon County Fairgrounds was a temporary home to many.
While they don’t know when they’ll get to return home, most have been staying positive.
“I just come from really tough resilient people, and so we just kind of carry on. But as I said, wait until I have to walk into my house and see what the damage is,” said Red Lodge resident Lee Cooper.
Cooper has been at the fairgrounds since 1:30 a.m. She has not been back to check on her home but has been told it is experiencing minor flooding.
“I think it was the police department, a bunch of guys in black sweatshirts with writing on the back pounding on our door. They said, ‘we’re asking everybody to leave.’ So, we left with what we could have the presence of mind to gather up because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Cooper.
The Red Cross set up the evacuation center. Although Cooper is only using the place for the day, she is grateful for her community.
“We feel like we’re in a really good place in this country, and the world, to be in this small town where people care about each other,” Cooper said.
Those people include the community members who have been preparing and delivering sandbags since Sunday night and through Monday morning.
“I’m blown away. I’m absolutely blown away by the amount of people that are here,” said Mick Thompson of Red Lodge.
People from near and far are helping the city. One family from Minnesota is even doing their part after coming for vacation.
“We rolled in this morning and found out that things were happening. And in Minnesota we’re used to sandbagging, you know, we do it all the time and sometimes people come from all over to help us so we thought we might as well find out where the action is,” Jay Haugen of Minnesota said.
The family plans to spend time in Red Lodge until Sunday.
“It’s just what you do. We are all people,” Haugen said.