AUGUSTA – Flood waters have begun to recede in Augusta. Residents told MTN now the hard work begins cleaning everything up.
People were out cleaning flooded stores, removing sandbags and pumping water from basements on Tuesday after a second year of destructive flooding.
Susan Ford, owner of Allen’s Manix Store, said this year was little easier since they were prepared from the 2018 flooding.
“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 areas of town and residents were not as fortunate however.
The American Legion Park and Rodeo Arena continues to be 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 on Tuesday said they’re thankful they live in a community where people have never hesitated 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 from the flood waters.
“There was like fifty, sixty people doing sandbags for almost 7 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 because of the community he has no plans on 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 back up and running before too long and the rodeo is still on for the June 29th and 30th.
More information about what is happening in Augusta and how to help the community can be found here.