GARDINER — Many Montana families had their homes damaged in Monday’s floods, but very few had them literally pulled into raging rivers.
Ramon and Nicole Perez were the exception.
“I hardly believed it was happening. I didn’t think it was possible until it fell in the river,” Ramon Perez said Tuesday.
Both Ramon and Nicole work for the National Park Service and they had lived in the employee housing for the past five years with four other families. The couple and their two young daughters were visiting family in California when flood waters spilled the banks of the river.
“Our apartment was the one that ripped off first, so you could see some of our daughter’s pictures flapping in the wind on the wall. You could see some of our stuff right before it went,” explained Nicole.
Schalene Darr lives downstream and was one of the many who watched as the home floated past her home, eventually crashing into a bridge. She and others in nearby Gardiner were stuck in the community until Tuesday afternoon when Highway 89 was reopened to Livingston, allowing tourists to leave and residents to stock up on groceries and supplies.
The road may now be back open, but for families like the Perezes, the nightmare is far from over.
“We lost everything. We have five days worth of clothes and a backpack full of toys so it’s a lot,” said Ramon.
If you’d like to help the Perez family replace their lost belongings, click here.