Governor Gianforte Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration

Governor's Office
  • August 25 2023

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today requested President Joe Biden issue a presidential major disaster declaration due to flooding in Montana in May and June.

The governor’s request is for the counties of Carbon, Daniels, Fergus, Garfield, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Petroleum, Phillips, Stillwater, and Treasure.

“At the end of May, Montana received a ridge of high pressure and accompanying rainfall that stayed over the state until the end of June,” Gov. Gianforte wrote in a letter to Pres. Biden. “Due to a previous flooding event in April, the soil had a high concentration of water levels which caused the rain to not be absorbed and flash flooding to occur. Repetitive flash flooding that occurred throughout the state was destructive and delayed initial recovery efforts.”

In addition to outlining the conditions which triggered the disaster, the governor’s request highlights the known impacts of the disaster on Montana communities.

“Hundreds of miles of rural roads, bridges, culverts, etc., were affected. The public infrastructure damage is extensive, and with repairs actively being completed, the unexpected cost to return to pre-disaster condition is beyond the capabilities of the local emergency fund and state disaster fund,” the governor wrote.

He added, “Without the opportunity to recoup costs through the Public Assistance Program, these communities are vulnerable to financial devastation from the next disaster or unable to effectively recover from this current disaster.”

The governor’s request to President Biden may be viewed here.