FROMBERG — Rebecca Shaw didn’t know how human a shower could make her feel.
For three months, Shaw, her husband and two sons had to drive into Billings to wash up in their friends’ bathrooms. A flood had emptied their Fromberg home and they spent most of their summer wondering where they would eat their next meal, and where they would sleep at night.
By the middle of September, the Shaws were sleeping on their property. The house is still mostly empty, finally dried of floodwater, but parked alongside it are a camper and tiny house. Another recent addition was a small 19-gallon water heater.
“I would say things are calmer,” she said from inside a space in the house that’s serving as a pantry, closet and entertainment center.
A cold May packed the Beartooth Mountains with fresh snow. Warmer temperatures through June turned snow melt into a water cannon that shot down into waterways spreading through Park, Stillwater and Carbon counties. Floods obliterated bridges, crops and entire homes. Emergency crew members in Red Lodge worked around the clock when waters broke above Rock Creek, some returning to find their own homes flooded.