Baucus, Tester: Help is on the way for Montana flood victims


WASHINGTON D.C. – Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced a major Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state of Montana, making federal resources available for county, local, and tribal governments and private nonprofit organizations that are responding to the recent flooding.

Both Senators have been pressing FEMA to process the disaster designation quickly and are working with federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Agriculture, to aid Montana's recovery.

"In times of disaster our most important resource is each other and it's going to take teamwork at every level to overcome the devastation of these floods," said Baucus. "From the neighbor down the street in Roundup to the federal disaster agencies in Washington, we're all in this together, and you can count on us to do our part to make sure Montana communities get the help they need," Baucus added.

"We're here to fight for Montana so, I urge Montana communities having trouble applying for disaster assistance to contact my office for help right away," said Tester. "This declaration will mean a faster recovery for our communities hit hard by flooding," explained Tester Tester is a member of the Homeland Security Committee which oversees FEMA.

Baucus and Tester recently met with local officials in Montana to assess the damage and worked alongside volunteers to assist the recovery. Both senators sent letters to FEMA Administrator William Craig Fugate urging swift approval of the disaster designation, once the official request was made June 1st.

The Presidential Disaster declaration makes Montana eligible for the FEMA public assistance program, which includes work to support utilities, irrigation, emergency medical care, wastewater treatment, and communications.

Public Assistance is provided to public entities and can fund the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of a public facility or infrastructure, which is damaged or destroyed by a disaster.

FEMA will now be conducting applicant briefings for state, local, and tribal officials to inform them about the assistance available and how to apply for it.

Interested applicants should contact their local emergency manager.