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Friday, July 1, 2022

Outside Yellowstone, flooded cities struggle to recover

Fromberg, Mont. – As officials scramble to reopen Yellowstone National Park to tourists after record flooding in southern Montana, some of the hardest hit in the disaster famously stay away from the park’s limelight and live their lives out of the mud Leaning on each other too much to extract.

In and around the farming community of Fromberg, the Clarks Fork River flooded about 100 homes and badly damaged a large irrigation ditch serving several farms. The city’s mayor says that about a third of flooded homes have to travel long distances to repair.

Not far from the riverbank, Lindy O’Brien’s trailer home was raised high enough to avoid major damage. But she found water in her barn and shed, lost some of her chickens, and saw her recently deceased parents’ home flooded several feet.

Red Lodge and Gardiner—the Montana tourist towns elected officials elected to visit damages served as the gateway to Yellowstone—have not made it to Frommberg to see its devastation. O’Brien said the lack of attention is no surprise given the city’s location away from major tourist routes.

He said he was not offended but resigned to the idea that if Frommberg was going to recover, its roughly 400 residents would have to do a lot of the work themselves.

“We take care of each other,” said O’Brien as she and two longtime friends, Melody Merter and Eileen Rogers, comb through the clay-hued items scattered across her property. O’Brien, an art teacher for a local school, was recovering with the hopes of turning his parents’ house into a vacation rental. Now he’s not sure it can be saved.

“When you’re tired and pooping, it’s okay to stop,” O’Brien told Merter and Rogers, whose clothes, hands, and faces were covered in mud.

Yellowstone will partially reopen at 8 a.m. Wednesday, more than a week after more than 10,000 visitors were forced out of the park when the Yellowstone and other rivers flowed along their banks after melting snow and several inches of rain. But she went

But the northern part of the nation’s oldest national park, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, is expected to remain closed through the summer, if not longer, as well as major entrances to the park through Montana. with one of The closure will deprive visitors of Tower Fall and Lamar Valley, one of the best places in the world to see wolves and grizzly bears.

Meanwhile, outside the population centers bordering the park, there is a maze of damaged roads. A major bridge leading to the town of Fishtail collapsed, forcing traffic to be diverted from the single-lane county road. There are about 500 people in the fishtail.

Lee Johnson and his wife and daughter run the Montesia restaurant, so named because it is a fusion of Malaysian and Montana cuisine. He said that business has come to a standstill.

“When we first opened after the flood, it’s just dead. And you start to have a sense of fear. Did I do all this, did I squander all this money, did I start this business and people Can’t get here now?” Johnson said.

Johnson and his Malaysian wife Yoki took over a lease on a 124-year-old historic fishtail building earlier this year, relocating their restaurant from another part of the state. For Yoki, this business was like a dream come true.

World Nation News Desk
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