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'Devastating': Record rainfall leads to sporadic flooding in Billings

By Kelsey Merison,


Heavy rainfall has pounded Billings all week, and it finally became too much for the drains to handle. Various areas in town flooded, forcing street closures and filling basements.

“In all the 26 years that I’ve lived here, and all the 60 years I’ve been born, I’ve never seen such a thing like this. My mother-in-law is 85, and she’s never seen anything like this," said Marla Hardt, a Billings West End homeowner impacted by the flooding, on Saturday. “All we saw was lake. It was like a lake all the way around our house. You couldn’t see our grass at all." Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Marla Hardt

Hardt's mother-in-law, who owns a neighboring property, was also impacted.

"She’s got about three or four inches in her basement. So we’ve got two small pumps in there pumping out the water for her. And then she also had to call someone to get it aired out, but she’s on a list,” Hardt said. “My husband got in his side-by-side and went over (to her house) at 5 a.m., right away. She was still in bed, and he went downstairs right away to check into it." Marla Hardt
Hardt's mother-in-law's home

This flooding is far-reaching. S. Shiloh Rd. near Scheel's quickly became a lake. MTN caught up with two fishermen taking advantage of the rising water.

“Well, I’m fishing. I knew there were fish out in this pond, and I see it’s spilling over into Shiloh. I thought if I could catch a fish in here I would be able to talk a lot of smack to my friends. So that’s kind of the plan. But so far, no luck,” said Tyler Burns, one of the fishermen, on Saturday. "I’m starting to get snagged on all kinds of things. So it’s not looking great, but I’m going to keep trying. Hopefully I’ll get something." Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Tyler Burns

While Burns tried to hook a fish, he reflected on past floods during his 28 years in Billings. Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Taking advantage of the high water on S. Shiloh Rd.

"This is definitely the first time I’ve seen this flooding. Especially on Shiloh," Burns said. "It's kind of crazy."

The Heights also saw some flooding. Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Billings Heights flooding

Downtown seemed perfectly normal in comparison to Hardt’s home. Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Downtown Billings during flood

Despite the damage, Hardt is remaining optimistic.

"We’ll get through it. We’re all okay, you know? Nothing’s been destroyed except for our basement, so we’ll get through it," Hardt said. "It’s going to take a few days, but could be a lot worse." Kelsey Merison/MTN News
Pickup attempts to drive on flooded S. Shiloh Rd.

To learn more about the flooding, click here.

To view this week's weather forecast, click here.

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