An event that many Park County residents have never in their life seen: the Yellowstone River flowing high and dangerous as it crept up to roads and took over properties along the way.
“It’s a matter of life or death,” says Park County resident Christine Jupe.
As water from the Yellowstone River rose, residents looked in awe as they took pictures.
“Its kind of scary so we figured we come out here where it’s a little safer,” says resident Chris Clarke.
Christine and Dave Jupe jumped into action, hoping to keep motorists from driving south along US Highway 89; they didn’t want to see drivers getting stranded as water crept up. They stood waving people down into a rest stop before authorities arrived.
“We were out here trying to stop other people from going across the water—its dangerous—till somebody else got here,” says Christine Jupe.
Residents say seeing the river so high is unlike anything they’ve seen before.
“I’ve seen it pretty high a few times, I’ve seen some of these cabins in trouble but not like that,” says Clarke.
“It’s sad. I had tears,” says Jupe.
Former firefighter Dean Graham jumped into action Monday. He flew in his helicopter up and down Paradise Valley.
“This morning I went to check out how high the water had gotten from overnight,” says Graham.
WATCH: Helicopter footage of flooding in Paradise Valley
As he was in the air, he looked for people who may have needed help.
“We were really looking for people that could be endangered,” says Graham.
For him, helping is secondhand nature.
“I always like to give back to the community, be a good buy, but I flew for the fire department,” says Graham. “It's just instinct to do my job."
He understands that no matter how beautiful Paradise Valley is, nature is a force to be reckoned with.
“They don’t call it Paradise for nothing. It is really a paradise but it’s a very harsh environment,” says Graham.