Fergus County Flood Waters from the Sky


by Andrea Fisher

Governor Brian Schweitzer and Senator Jon Tester spent the day surveying flood damage from the sky and discussing strategy with local leaders throughout the state.

"Holy mackerel," said Senator Jon Tester from his helicopter seat.

He wasn't the only one blown away by the views of flood damage from the sky.

Governor Schweitzer asked an official on board if he'd ever seen flooding like this.

"'75 was bad," he replied, "but not like this."

Before takeoff a meeting with state and Fergus county officials to discuss the severe flooding and how Tester and Schweitzer will work to secure funds to repair the damage.

The state needs to document one million dollars in damages to qualify for federal aid.

Volunteers are preparing meals at the Lewistown Civic Center. Some victims are too busy to eat, so the volunteers are bringing supplies to them.

In town, the water has receded some, and many residents are in surprisingly good spirits, like Tracy Shafer, who lost almost everything when her basement apartment flooded.

"I know there are people worse off than me, so we'll figure it out," she said.

Shafer is living in a temporary residence provided by her landlord.

"It'a good people's spirits are up," said Tester, "but at some point they have to see progress, too."

Governor Schweitzer advised local leaders to "document, document, document" damages so they can be repaired.