Flooding costs force Crow tribe to lay off 150

Billings, Montana (AP) June 2011

The costs of dealing with severe flooding on the Crow Indian Reservation have forced the tribe to lay off 150 workers.

Crow personnel director Kayle Howe tells the Billings Gazette that the tribe faced the unexpected costs of paying people to help residents in isolated areas and distributing food.

He says those costs came on top of revenue shortfalls that had already caused the tribe to cut full-time employees to 32 hours a week.

Howe says the tribe is trying to recover the money it paid for flood-rescue efforts, but it could take a while.

Before the layoffs, the tribe employed approximately 815 people.

Howe says most of those laid off were the most recently hired, and that at least some won't be eligible for unemployment payments.