After Tester Push, FEMA Approves $20 Million to Mitigate Effects of Flooding in Montana
Funding will repair and prevent damage from extreme weather
After a push from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced funding availability to mitigate the effects of last year’s devastating spring flooding in Montana.
The funding comes from Tester’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and will work to deliver critical resources for flood mitigation in Montana. Tester worked with five Republicans and four Democrats to negotiate the IIJA and was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote for the bill.
“Last spring’s historic flooding was devastating to many farmers, ranchers, families, and small businesses who are still working to make themselves whole,” said Tester. “These folks deserve the necessary resources to recover and prepare for the next time disaster strikes. I’m proud to see my bipartisan infrastructure law giving folks in Montana the tools they need to do just that, and I’ll keep working to ensure this assistance is distributed swiftly and effectively.”
Last year, Tester urged FEMA to make Montana eligible to receive funds through FEMA’s new Swift Current Initiative, which would make communities affected by severe flooding eligible for Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA).
The Swift Current Initiative provides flood mitigation assistance funding to properties insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that suffer severe flood damage, and is a new program stemming from Senator Tester’s bipartisan IIJA. The initiative makes flood mitigation assistance available as quickly and equitably as possible to reduce the damage-repair cycle of repetitively flooded and substantially damaged buildings insured under the NFIP.
The Montana congressional delegation also successfully urged the Federal Highway Administration to take immediate action and provide much needed funding through the FWHA Emergency Relief Program to areas affected by flooding resulting in $3 million in funding for Montana roads and highways. They also sent a letter to President Biden, which led to the approval of a major disaster declaration and activation of critical FEMA public assistant and support for recovery efforts. The State of Montana submitted a disaster declaration request to the federal government on June 15, 2022 in response to major flooding across south-central Montana, which was approved by President Biden the next day. Severe weather resulted in significant property damage to homes, businesses, roads, sewers, water systems and Yellowstone National Park. Acting Governor Kirsten Juras declared a statewide disaster on June 14, 2022.
The application period closes on Jan. 15, 2025. The funding opportunity is available on Grants.gov.