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Crow Reservation reeling from flooding and road closures

Posted at 3:32 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 18:05:18-04

CROW AGENCY – Flood waters from the Big Horn River threatened homes and closed Interstate 90 in Crow Agency Monday.

The Crow tribe has been battling flooding around the reservation for about a week. This flooding comes as the Crow Tribe has already been dealing with a lack of clean drinking water due to low water pressure in Crow Agency.

Crow Tribal officials have been working to fix the water lines, and prevent homes from flooding.

“We’ve had a unified command with the state and B.I.A. and tribe,” said Edward Eastman, Crow Disaster emergency service and public safety director. “(We’ve been) making sure everybody is getting drinking water and potable water to the town of Crow and the outlying areas have been affected. The flooding has affected everybody from north of Lodge Grass, clean down to where it dumps into the Big Horn River. The flooding has been bad.”

Crow Disaster and Emergency Service and the American Mine Land Reclamation Program (AML) have filled and distributed over 1,500 sandbags to residents in Crow Agency.

“The warm temperatures, all the water, just came all at once,” said Johnna Snell, receiving sandbags from AML. “Now it’s just flowing onto my property. I went (home) about an hour ago, everything was dry. Everything was nice. We’re concerned because any more water it would probably go under. I’m happy we are all working together to get this flooding under control.”

The good news: Everyone helping on the ground Monday said it looks like water levels around the reservation have been falling steadily over the course of the day.

The timeline for reopening I-90 is up to Mother Nature.

For now, Exit 509 on I-90 is the last chance to depart the interstate before flood waters take over the roadway. I-90 southbound is closed from Exit 509 at Crow Agency, all the way to the Wyoming state line.

Department of Emergency Service officials told MTN as soon as there’s no more water on the road they will

Reporting by Mitch Lagge for MTN News