Communities rally to support flood-impacted towns across southern Montana

ROB ROGERS

Earlier this week, as Columbus was bracing for the Yellowstone River to crest, a pair of older men were working quickly to carry sandbags across the road to their property and set up a flood barrier. 

It was slow going, said Melanie Koassan, a volunteer from Columbus who’s helping lead relief efforts for Stillwater County.

Someone saw the men struggling with the sandbags and asked if they needed help. The two men requested a few more hands and within the hour 30 people had arrived, helping the two men build a 4-foot wall that was three sandbags deep around their house. 

“I can’t tell you how wonderful Columbus and Stillwater County (residents) have been,” Koassan said. “The volunteer response has been incredible.”

For those who want to help, opportunities are abundant. 

United Way of Yellowstone County has partnered with JustServe, the localized service and volunteering network for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to help direct materials and volunteers to relief efforts in Stillwater, Carbon, Park and Gallatin counties.

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Those wanting to volunteer or donate can visit either the United Way or JustServe website to find out

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