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Workers in Carbon County are still excavating tons of rock from streams and rivers



Edgar, Montana – Water levels rose as a result of Montana’s unprecedented flooding in 2022 that dumped rock into Carbon County riverbeds.

To stop further damage to the infrastructure, rock is currently being removed by the ton and stacked up close to Edgar.

Following its removal from rivers and streams, 10,000 tons of debris are anticipated to be gathered at the rock’s final disposal location.

All of this is a part of a $2.7 million project, of which 75% of the cash comes from FEMA. The state disaster fund provides the remaining funds.

“The county is going to take possession of it. They can crush it, use for road base. It does have a reusable product at the end of it,” said Johnny Osborne, the project manager.

Osborne is one of three contractors working with CTC Disaster Response to clear the flood damage in Montana.

Although he is from South Carolina, he has been temporarily residing in Red Lodge since April, when the state began its first flood debris removal mission.

In a different $5.5 million project that concluded in September, Osborne and his colleagues cleared homes and trees out of streams, clearing 144,000 cubic yards of vegetative waste.

“Worst case scenario, if we have another high water event we could have more potential damage to infrastructure like roads and bridges. That’s the worst case scenario,” said Jake Ganieny of Montana Disaster and Emergency Services.

According to officials, clearing surplus rock beneath bridges down to the low water line is crucial.

“We want to make sure we don’t cause any kind of additional damage as a result of the flood. The flood caused so much damage for hundreds of miles of rivers all across southwest Montana,” said Ganieny.

This project is therefore now in progress, over a year and a half after the floods. It required further approvals, inspections, and monitoring from numerous federal, state, and local government entities.

“Here we’ve got some sensitive areas we have to work in, follow all kinds of guidelines from environmental folks, biologists,” Osborne said.

The project is scheduled to conclude on December 13 if the weather holds and the water level stays low.


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