Flooding plagues Helena mobile home community - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Flooding plagues Helena mobile home community

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A makeshift levee that was holding back flood waters at a mobile home park collapsed overnight, opening up the floodgates even more. Now, some homes are shifting off their foundations. Residents don't know if they should stay or abandon their homes.

Many of those who live here are elderly or have serious health conditions.
One man who has a broken leg, which has forced him to get around in a small boat., using his crutches as oars.

There several longtime residents in the Helena mobile home park. They have seen dozens of floods sweep through the area over the years. However, none, that could literally sweep you off your feet.

"This channel is hard to cross. Its a couple of feet deep. Someone told me if it knocks you down, it can sweep you away, so I'm looking for a safer way out of here," said Gene Bourgess, a longtime resident. 

Bourgess was using a path blocked by a temporary levee to get to the only working restroom in the entire community. He says no matter how much residents prepare, it’s never enough to keep the waters at bay.

"We’ve filled more sandbags here in the last four days than the last platoon out of Vietnam," said Bourgess.  
Many residents are calling on the city and state to help. Bourgess was here when floods rushed through in 2011 and says aid was readily available. Now, he says the only volunteers who are lending a helping hand are good Samaritans who come from churches and community organizations.

"Its stressful, don't sleep well, don't eat well, its cause nobody knows what’s going to happen."

However, some residents are remaining surprisingly optimistic and understanding, putting things in perspective.

"There are times when I want to snap, but then i look at Missoula, its much, much, much worse. The way I see it, we haven't had anybody get hurt," said Jennifer Ecord, she’s lived here with her 7-year-old daughter Layla for a couple of years now.  

Ecord says while there's no denying her family is in a rough spot, she understands you have to use a little bit of elbow grease in these unavoidable situations. So far, she's spent more than 20 hours putting up sandbags and pumping out water.

"Right now it’s just a matter of a waiting game and like i was telling people, it’s hard to tell where we need the help. I know afterward we're going to need a big help cleaning up," said Ecord.  

Ecord says as long as the lights stay on, they're standing their ground and waiting out the storm.