NewsLocal News


Rain causes worst flooding in Lavina since 2011

Untitled copy.png
Posted at 8:28 AM, Jun 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-12 13:26:41-04

Residents of Ryegate and Lavina cleaned up, after a little more than an inch of rain in each community that flooded yards and several basements.

Those in Lavina compared this flooding to 2018 and 2011.

A neighbor says the water came from Highway 3, down 1st Street.

It crossed in his front yard, didn't get to his basement or his house, and then the water went down Collins Street where it flooded some more yards and basements before flowing into the Musselshell River.

The water has receded, but on Thursday night, much of the small town of the Lavina was underwater.

The Tinker family was one of many dealing with too much water in the front yard. It did cause some expensive damage.

"It took out our well which is just right out our back door," said Shauna Tinker. "We're going to have to get a backhoe in. We'll probably end up bringing it above ground because it's in ground now."

The water turned part of the family's yard into a pond and it was a scene repeated from one home to the next throughout the neighborhood.

"Last night, we felt like we were Noah's Ark," Tinker said. "We were totally surrounded.

Weather reports show 1.15 to 1.30 inches of rainfall near Lavina Thursday night.

The Tinkers say this is the worst flooding in they have seen in Lavina since 2011, 13 years ago.

"2011 was the last time it did this," Tinker said.

"Pretty substantial," said Deputy Katherine Ford of the Golden Valley County Sheriff's Office, about the the flooding in 2011. "We had a lot of damage to our bridges. We had to fix those we had FEMA come in."

Ford says crews, which included the Sheriff, worked until 5:30 in the morning, pumping the water out of the yards

"The best of my understanding, the Sheriff's had about an hour of sleep in the last 48 hours," Ford said.

The deputy says water flowed down the highway and crews diverted some of the water when it hit Lavina.

Ford is also the county's deputy disaster and emergency services coordinator.

She said there was also some flooding in Ryegate.

But as is the case in most small towns like Ryegate and Lavina neighbors help neighbors rallying around one another to mitigate the damage.

"By them pumping the water out, it didn't make it here," Tinker said. "Thank God."

"Kind of the whole county, we don't have a lot of people here," Ford said. "And everybody knows everybody, so we try to chip in and help."