Laurel landscaping company prepares for potential of record flooding

Posted at 3:26 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:51:09-04

LAUREL – As flood concerns rise, people who live and work along rivers in Yellowstone County are preparing for what could be a difficult weekend.

River Ridge Landscape Co., owned by Steve Lehenbauer, sits where the Clark Fork River meets the Yellowstone and they will be spending their weekend preparing for what could come.

“When they were predicting just around 13 feet, we can usually defend that,” said Lehenbauer. “We just built sand bags and we’re trying to keep the water out…if it was only going to get that high we can do that pretty easy.”

Their property has a low lying field up against the river, which has flooded before. The rest of their property, including their offices and Lehenbauers home, sit up about four feet above that.

“Obviously when we moved out here we knew that this could happen,” said Lehenbauer. “But we didn’t think it would ever get up towards the house because it is quite high here.”

With the National Weather Service predictions of the potential for record-breaking flood levels over the holiday weekend, the Lehenbauers are now shifting their focus to protecting the structures.

“We are still filling sandbags in case we still need them but we are moving past the sandbag phase,” said Lehenbauer. “We’re actually bringing in truckloads of road material and that’s what we’re gonna make this dike out of.”

Lehenbauer said they will likely spend much of the holiday weekend preparing for the potential flooding, but despite his concern, he said at least it is just land.

“We’ve got flood insurance,” said Lehenbauer. “I mean, what is the worst that can happen? We’re going to lose maybe some things but nothing terrible is going to happen, we’re not going to lose any lives…we’re just going to be a little displaced and uncomfortable. We’re going to prepare like it’s gonna happen and hopefully it doesn’t.”

The potential for this flooding is a result of a rain event predicted for Sunday night.

Check MTN News throughout the weekend for the latest updates on flooding.

Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News