Augusta comes together to clean up after flooding

Posted at 8:02 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 22:21:58-04

Floodwaters have started to recede in Augusta and now the clean-up work begins.

Residents were cleaning the flooded stores, removing sandbags, and pumping water from basements Tuesday after a second year of destructive flooding.

Susan Ford, owner of Allen’s Manix Store, said this year was easier than 2018 as they were prepared.

“Last year, my basement flooded, I lost the furnace and the water heater,” recalled Ford. “But this year because he now had a big trash pump, it kept the water at only 2 ½ inches, which is phenomenal.”

Ford said they also used sandbags better than in 2018 by placing them about a foot away from the structure rather than right next to the building.

Other residents and areas of town were not as fortunate.

The American Legion Park and Rodeo Arena remains underwater and many homes are still flooding.

Shawn Briggs bought his house on Main Street two weeks before Augusta flooded last year; his home flooded both years.

“I thought I brought the bad deal here as for the weather,” joked Briggs.

The basement of the Briggs home had water almost 5 feet deep until some Good Samaritans showed up.

“These two guys came from over in Choteau coming over to volunteer and give us a hand,” said Briggs.

He initially thought he’d have to pay the men for their services, but they refused reimbursement. “Not even beer money? ‘Nope’ they said,” laughed Briggs.

Each resident MTN spoke with Tuesday said they’re thankful they live in a community where people never hesitate to help a neighbor in need.

“Everybody helped everybody,” said Ford. “Before the water even got here people were filling sandbags up while other were following the flat beds full of bags and helping people pack what they needed.”

Residents, even temporary ones, spent hours filling sandbags to help protect homes and businesses.

“There was like fifty, sixty people doing sandbags for almost seven hours yesterday and the day before, “said Briggs. “There were some foreign exchange students from the high school who were helping out too and they loved it! They had never seen anything like this before and they really got into it and helping folks.”

“I think we’re all just a team,” said resident Shawn Grove. “Augusta is a pretty tight-knit community. The help is not expected at all and everyone, if you read our social media pages, are expressing their thankfulness for the community.”

Residents like Briggs say it’s because of the community he has no plans of ever moving.

“No plans to leave. It’s been the greatest thing ever since I’ve moved here. It’s been awesome,” said Briggs.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but residents say Augusta will be up and running before too long and the rodeo is still on for June 29-30.

You can find more information about what is happening in Augusta and how to help the community here.

-Reported by John Riley/MTN News