Sidney Herald: Montana legislators get disaster fund approval

by Mark Berryman

U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Congressman Matt Rosendale today announced that they secured a Major Disaster Declaration to help communities in northeast Montana recover from a severe windstorm that left many without power. This announcement comes after the Montana delegation sent a letter to President Biden making this request.

FEMA has also announced that the federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Montana to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by straight line winds on June 10, 2021.

Federal funding also is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the straight-line winds in Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Richland and Roosevelt counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Jon K. Huss has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Huss said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

“Families, farmers, ranchers and businesses in northeast Montana have been struggling since the dangerous windstorm in June. I’m glad to see relief coming to Montana to help with repairs that will get folks back to everyday life,” Daines said.

“This summer’s extreme weather has wreaked havoc across our state, and the June storms in Northeast Montana caused significant damage that far outstrips the ability of our state and local governments to recover from without support,” said Tester. “I am pleased that FEMA listened to our request for relief, and I will hold the Administration accountable to ensure these funds reach the ground swiftly so the folks affected by this storm can begin rebuilding as quickly as possible.”

“This afternoon’s announcement from FEMA of a major disaster declaration is the first step in getting our state the assistance that it needs to deal with this difficult period of extreme wind” Rosendale said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done as a delegation to get this declaration, and the cooperation we’ve seen between state, local and federal officials. I’m going to continue to work with our partners to ensure that our state gets as far along the road to recovery as quickly as possible.”