Gianforte Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration
Gov. Greg Gianforte has submitted a request to President Joe Biden for a presidential major disaster declaration due to flooding in Montana during April.
The governor’s request is for the counties of Blaine, Daniels, Hill, Park, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley, along with the Fort Peck Tribes.
“For the month of March, Montana experienced colder and wetter conditions than usual,” Gianforte wrote in a letter to Biden. “By the end of the first week of April, Montana experienced sustained high temperatures, up to 80 degrees in some locations. These warm temperatures quickly melted the low elevation snowpack which led to large volumes of runoff flowing into the Milk River system.”
In addition to outlining the conditions which triggered the disaster, the governor’s request highlights the known impacts of the disaster on Montana communities.
“The impacted areas are extremely rural with a small tax base spread out over a large area, which makes recovery from a disaster difficult and expensive for these communities compared to a more urban populated area,” the governor wrote.
He added, “Also, Park County along with the state of Montana are still actively recovering from the devastating Yellowstone Flooding event from last year which puts a strain on recovery resources throughout the state.”
In response to the flooding, Gianforte last month declared a statewide disaster.