Flood ‘em with Kindness
By M.P. Cremer
It’s been a weird couple of weeks. Normally, in Montana, we’re hurting for moisture but in the past week, not so much – we just should’ve been clearer on what kind of moisture we needed.
Today, I’d like to talk about the flood in south central Montana. It just doesn’t seem right to write about another anti-ag putting their foot down about whatever ridiculous claim they’re making this week when there’s a natural disaster going on outside my window.
Many parts of south central Montana are currently flooded right now. This started on June 13, and is still going on in many parts of the state. Bridges were washed out, roads covered in water and homes destroyed.
Where I live, Big Timber, is still flooded in some areas but as of right now, the flooding looks to have gone down. Thankfully, none of our personal land or property was affected by the flooding of the Yellowstone or Boulder rivers. Although we made it out of this natural disaster flood free, many people around the state did not.
As someone who was born and raised in an area where we get a beaucoup of rain most years (enough to flood some roads and bridges and make the creeks and rivers run higher and quicker) and lived in College Station during Hurricane Harvey, this all reminds me a little of hurricane aftermath. I mean, when I saw the pictures of Red Lodge, all I could think about was our friends in the South who experience this kind of flooding more frequently. The big difference is, in Montana, floods like these aren’t usually anticipated and come around once every 100 years.
This flooding is about to change a lot in Montana. There’s a chance it could change the way some rivers run or effect other aspects of our ecosystem; it’s most likely going to hurt the tourism industry severely; and it will probably make producing food and supplying your family with food a lot harder than before. Things are doing to change, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
What we can do, however, is roll with the river – so to speak, and offer a life raft when needed.
I think about the way people came together to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Harvey: cleaning up destroyed structures, offering a hot meal to the people who lost their food supply, being there when you need someone to talk to about your childhood home being flooded. I see a lot of that happening in Montana right now.
People are helping each other out, donating items, offering up whatever they can to lend a hand. We need to continue to do this, Montana.
This generosity doesn’t need to stop once roads are repaired.
This kindness shouldn’t end when agriculturists who experienced a major drought last year get their flood insurance checks.
This unity can’t go back to division when the creek beds are dry again.
We need to continue to flood each other with kindness – because at this point, it’s the only thing keeping some of our neighbors afloat.