POWELL, Wyo. — Hearing about devastation across the border has prompted northern Wyoming residents to help Montanans struggling with flood conditions.
Flooding in Montana has damaged at least 200 homes on the Crow Indian Reservation and many more homes and businesses in other areas. Water levels had dropped in the central Montana town of Roundup this past week, but warmer weather is expected to cause a new round of flooding in parts of the state as mountain snows melt.
While floodwaters have submerged her hometown of Roundup, Mont., Barb Goffena Miller has watched from Powell, searching for updates and looking for ways to help her relatives and others affected by flooding.
"I'm pretty helpless. It's a long ways around to get there (with road closures)," Miller said. "It's a stage where, until the water goes down, I can't help them clean up."
Miller said pumping has begun within the town of Roundup, but "in the country, they have to wait for Mother Nature to take its course for the water to go down."
Miller, who grew up in Roundup, said the flooding is unprecedented for residents in Montana's Musselshell Valley.
"This is the worst it's ever been," she said.
A major flood hit the Roundup area in 1967, but the flood of 2011 will go down "as the one that breaks the records."
Miller's grandfather was one of the first homesteaders of Montana's Musselshell Valley.
"I have over 50 relatives in that area," Miller said. "I want to help."
Miller has been keeping track of flood victims' needs through Facebook, and she said she heard there's a need for clothing for men, women and children.
She will deliver them to Roundup.
Miller said another way to help is to send money to help flood victims.
Meanwhile, other local residents are finding ways to help those affected by flooding on the Crown Indian Reservation.
A Clark resident hauled a pickup truck load of food and water for flood victims on the Crow Indian Reservation, but it was local support that provided the victuals - and for that, he's grateful.
"On behalf of my friends on the Crow Reservation and Jared Stewart, I would like to take a moment to thank a few people who really stepped up to the plate with their generosity in providing food and water to the flood victims," said Tom McCoy of Clark.
McCoy called his friend, Stewart, who lives at Crow Agency, Mont., last week. Stewart suggested McCoy deliver food to flood victims there, and McCoy got on it.
Without questioning his intentions, local residents rose to the occasion, McCoy said.
He started with Bennett Creek Church in Clark, which runs a food bank, and they came through, McCoy said.
Then he petitioned Powell and Cody, where food markets donated food.
They were extraordinarily generous," McCoy said. "As a result of their wanting to help I was able to take a completely full pickup truck of food and water to Billings to be dispersed to those in need."
Money is tight, and groceries don't come cheap.
McCoy said his wallet is not boundless, but he has a little time.
"Don't we all wish we were all able to do more?" he asked.
People helping their neighbors to the north is a fine example of altruism, McCoy said.
"I think most people would love to do a lot," he said.