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Damage and losses from flooding in Stillwater County detailed

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 13:22:37-04

Several agencies held a public meeting at the Anipro Event Center, just south of Absarokee on Wednesday night.

They talked about the damaged roads and the bridges and also how the river has changed and will change how it floods now in the future. Some people talked about losing their homes or maybe in the process of losing their homes and that river is getting close to it.

"Right now their houses were hanging over a cliff," one man said during the meeting. "Get down there. Let's get down there and help out because it'd be like my house. I mean, there's no way to save it."

"The night before it was just in the lawn and so we sandbagged and did the necessary precautions," said Janel Brunckhorst, an Asarokee resident. "And by the next morning, it had completely surrounded our house and the river engulfed the whole area. And it took our deck off our house and put it in our neighbor's yard."

Brunkhorst said some of her neighbors had to evacuate, including one couple who escaped after hearing the well alarm.

About 150 attended the meeting and some of the agencies expect to check on the damage Thursday morning.

"We're going to hard to regain access to as much as Stillwater County as possible," said Commissioner Tyrel Hamilton, R-Stillwater County. "We know we have roads out. We know we have bridges out. We're working hard with Montana State DOT and our road and bridge office here locally, as well as our state representatives in the area and the Governor."

Law enforcement and emergency crews asked people to adhere to the road closures and many of the emergency crews will be using those same roads.

"Stillwater County sustained a lot of damage to the roadways," Hamilton said. "We were fortunate we didn't lose any major bridges from the county's perspective. We have seen some state bridges that were and a lot of private bridges that were assessed by it. But the road losses extensive we've lost a lot of miles on North Stillwater river road we've lost some on Stillwater River Road, as well as we still are doing our assessment in the Reid Point Park City areas."

Brunkhorst says she may not be able to save her home.

"Right now we're just removing personal belongings and hoping that this weekend's hot weather doesn't cause it to flood more," she said. "It's been tough. A lot of memories gone down the river."

More information is available on the Stillwater County DES Facebook page, the Stillwater County Search and Rescue Facebook page and the Stillwater County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.