RED LODGE – One week after the devastating floods occurred at Red Lodge, many were left trying to figure out where to go from here. Including many employees at Prerogative Kitchen, nearly half of their employees lost their homes to the flood.
Red Lodge floodwaters turned streets into rivers and poured into homes, businesses, and any building in their path.
Gina Burghoff is one of three owners at the Prerogative Kitchen in downtown Red Lodge. The restaurant was just beginning to prepare for the summer rush when Rock Creek spilled over its banks. The flood left six of the restaurant’s 15 employees homeless.
“One of the guys had to get out the window because the water was coming in that hard and he literally lost everything,” Berghof said Monday.
That employee was Taylor Monfort Eaton. He briefed MTN News on the damage last week.
“I pulled a shoe out of the underwater, put it on, and gave it 3 or 4 hard kicks and the water just started pouring in,” Monfort Eaton said Friday.
Burghoff is now helping Monfort-Eaton and its other staff provide accommodations. She arranged to bring camper trailers from Cody, Wyoming and house some of her workers on her property.
“This is great for temporarily but with the housing crisis we just need permanent housing,” Berghof said.
And Prerogative Kitchen doesn’t just help its employees. She offered her full list for free on Friday to anyone who needed it while accepting donations to her employees, raising about $1,000 for them.
The restaurant is also part of the Gift Cards Brigade to help businesses in the city. People can donate or buy a $50 gift card to a business and Burghoff will distribute it to the community of Red Lodge and surrounding areas.
Although Burghoff is concerned about her own business, she still does her best to help those around her.
“Oh, you don’t have a choice. You know? I mean when you see all your friends struggling on the east side of town and losing their entry, a lot of those basements that got affected were basement apartments, and there’s really nowhere to go,” Berghof said. Just to pass through.”