Helena, Mont., Campground Flooded; Campers Moved Out
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High waters came rushing downstream on Wednesday (June 8), flooding the campground in Helena, Mont., KXLH-TV, Helena, reported.
More than 200 residents who live in 85 mobile homes and travel trailers off North Montana were warned that high waters are going to continue and they may want to leave.
The campground is dealing with between six inches and a foot of water; some trailers are partially submerged and the people have been asked to leave.
Some residents took heed of the warning by packing up their items and heading for higher ground.
Resident Tracy MacKnight said, “We’re evacuating, our trailer park is flooding and they turned off all the power and we don’t have any water, no bathroom, no nothing, so we’re moving to higher ground.”
Miranda Pengra noted, “It really isn’t so bad on the other side, we’ve probably got about three inches of the water in our yard, but it’s just coming down through the road and it’s all coming down from Ten Mile.”
Knee-deep in floodwaters, telephone and cable crews worked throughout the day trying to repair downed services.
But more of a concern at this point is providing safe drinking water.
Paul Spengler, disaster and emergency services coordinator for Lewis & Clark County, said, “We’re planning on delivering porta-potties to the campground as well as bottled water.”
The county health department is cautioning people to boil their water if their well-heads have been submerged in floodwaters as it is considered contaminated.
Spokeswoman Laurel Ried said, “Until the waters recede, you want to either boil your water or add five drops of chlorine bleach per quart of water.”
In the meantime, residents continue to help their neighbors by delivering sandbags.
Volunteer sandbagger Denise Bartle said, “Just helping everybody, getting some sandbags. We’ve lived in this neighborhood for like 15 years.”
Homeowner Mike Caplis said, “It’s like friends helping friends or neighbors helping neighbors.”
So far, residents in Helena and East Helena have used an estimated 30,000 sandbags with another 24,000 on the way.
“Not only do we have flooding here, but we have flooding in Lincoln, Augusta, Wolf Creek area, so we’re just trying to keep that supply,” said Assistant Public Works Director Kyle Thomas.