Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the state of Montana has secured a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden in response to devastating flooding across portions of the state.
“Over the last several days, flooding has destroyed homes, washed away roads and bridges, left Montanans without power and water services, and threatened Montanans' livelihoods,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Securing this major disaster declaration will further help our communities respond to the severe flooding, recover, and rebuild. The state will continue bringing its resources to bear to support communities impacted by flooding.”
Gov. Gianforte continued, “On behalf of all Montanans, I thank both the president for his swift approval of our request and Senator Daines, Senator Tester, and Congressman Rosendale for their work to move our request forward with the president as well as for their unified support of our efforts.”
The federal aid that accompanies this major disaster declaration will supplement state and local resources being used to offset widespread damage because of the flooding.
At the time of the governor’s request to the president, heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt had caused rivers, creeks, and low-lying areas across southwest and south-central Montana to flood.
The flooding has caused widespread damage to homes, businesses, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure in the regions. As of Wednesday, the Montana Department of Transportation initially estimated damage to transportation infrastructure totaling $29 million.
The acute damage to infrastructure, particularly in and around Yellowstone National Park, will impact communities that rely on tourism and recreation for livelihoods, jobs, and revenue. Park County benefits from more than $200 million annually in tourism, and Carbon County brings in $68 million annually from tourism.
On Wednesday, the governor announced the state submitted a request to President Biden for an expedited presidential major disaster declaration.
On Tuesday, Gov. Gianforte declared a statewide disaster due to flooding after verbally authorizing the declaration Monday.