FROMBERG — As the one-year anniversary of historic flooding in southern Montana approaches, some residents in Fromberg fear that another flood could be in the future and are concerned that not enough is being done by the local government to prevent flooding again.
Fromberg resident Elton Kirtley wrote and distributed a letter to those living on the east side of town titled "Fromberg Flood Alert!!!" that claims the town is in danger of "being divided by a new river channel."
"All the mayor has to do is complete the paperwork so that the curve can be dredged and built up, protecting the town. He has refused to cooperate with the county for months. Now we are running out of time...Because of serious changes in the river, a rise of only 4 feet would flood Fromberg — perhaps worse than last year," Kirtley wrote.
Mayor Tim Nottingham said some residents in town who received the letter were fearful that flooding was happening right then.
“People thought that they were being flooded,” Nottingham said.
Marge Taylor has lived in town for 35 years. She lives on the west side of town, so her home wasn't damaged by the flooding. But she knows many people who are still picking up from the historic flood and worries about what will happen if they have to battle another one.
“Some of the people will lose even more than what they have already,” Taylor said. “I don’t want to see another flood, and the only thing I have seen (the mayor) say he’s going to do is, ‘well I’m going to raise that road.'"
Taylor agrees with the letter Kirtley wrote and believes the mayor is not doing enough to prevent another flood.
“You don’t start planning now for a flood,” she said.
But Nottingham said that people don't understand what is happening behind the scenes.
“They don’t want to be a solution to the problem, they just want to be the problem… We’re doing everything we can. Like I say, we don’t have a million dollars to drop into it to say you know 10 engineers go out and take care of it,” he said.
Nottingham also said that the government is also not fully responsible in preventing another flood.
“Everybody is responsible for themselves. When you live along a river or stream, you have to be responsible to yourself first. You can’t depend on a government entity to protect you,” Nottingham said.
Taylor said she attends almost every town council meeting and is tired of the excuses that she hears when asking about where money is going.
“I would want to know what money's available, where it comes from, how it goes. Instead of telling the whole public, ‘I don’t know,'" she said.