BILLINGS - The population of Broadus is usually right around 500 people, but on Wednesday night, a lot of unexpected overnight guests were in town — and most were parked on the side of the road.
Clint Pedersen shot drone video of the line of truckers left stranded as the storm closed roads in and out of town.
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“Just in the video that I took... that mile there is probably 100 and some trucks but there is another few hundred downtown. The wind was blowing so hard with 40-mile-an-hour gusts that the drone was tilting so bad that I didn’t want to fly anymore,” he says.
Pedersen is assistant fire chief in Broadus and a veterinarian.
“It was pretty bad for the cattle. It was really wet and hard wind, so it really chilled down the baby calves pretty hard, but the depth wasn’t very deep. Might have had eight inches of snow tops. We’ve got drifts maybe five or six feet,” Pedersen says.
“The roads were just packed with truckers — hundreds — and for a little town of 450, it is a bit of an impact, I know,” said Tom Herzog.
Herzog is pastor at Faith Bible Church where about two dozen people spent the night in cots.
“We just fed them chili as they came off the road and this morning threw a breakfast for them and just now, we sent another group out on the road, so they were very happy to finally have some hope. It was great. A lot of Spanish-speaking people That was a little bit of a challenge for us. It just so happened that another one of the fellas here was able to speak Spanish, so they communicated for us and just how quickly the bonds were formed were pretty cool. It was a blessing,” Herzog says.
And late Thursday afternoon another blessing: all the roads finally reopened.
“Kudos to our little community they reached out. People were willing to help wherever they could. It’s cool to see how people can get stuff done when they work together,” Herzog says.