Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Roger Dey 

A neighbor in need: LVFD delivers sandbags, water to flooded Augusta


Zach Muse

The trailer loaded with 60-plus cases of water and Gatoraid ready to leave Lincoln for Augusta, June 21.

The Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department got a shout out from the Augusta-area Chamber of Commerce last week for delivering more than 60 cases of water and Gatorade for residents whose wells may have been contaminated by floodwaters.

Lincoln Fire Chief Zach Muse and Kevin Grantier delivered the water to the Community Church in Augusta Thursday, June 21, after making the long detour to south to Interstate 15 necessitated by the closure of Roger's Pass the day before.

The cases of water were left over from a donation made to the LVFD last year's during the fire season.

"It was an opportunity to help out our small community neighbors in Lewis and Clark County," Rural Fire District Chairman Bill Frisbee said.

The bottled water was the second delivery from Lincoln to help the citizens of Augusta made by the LVFD last week

Muse loaded up the sandbag fillers and a couple thousand sandbags left over from the flooding here in May and headed over the divide Tuesday, June 19.

With Highway 287 closed he drove to Simms and headed back west toward Augusta on Montana 21, the Simms-Augusta road.Muse said the road was running with more than a foot of water for half a mile before he reached the last bridge, which had collapsed.

"I carried the stuff across the bridge to some guys and they drove it in to where they filled (sandbags) and then got out while I could and, before other bridges behind me collapsed," he said, but added that on the way out he threw his waders on to carry a fawn across a flooding borrow pit to dry ground where it was able to reunite with its mother.

Muse made it back to Lincoln just before the Montana Department of Transportation closed Roger's Pass due to a plugged culvert.

Although Highway 287 re-opened June 21, Montana 21 remains closed due to the bridge failure.

Floodwaters receded in the Augusta area over the weekend, leaving community members with the task of cleaning up.

The flood forced the town to reschedule the annual American Legion Rodeo to July 21-22, but the Wapiti fun run, kid's carnival, auction and a street dance went ahead as planned Saturday, June 23.


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