Tester, Walsh press FEMA Administrator on Montana flood relief

Senators move quickly in wake of state’s request for disaster assistance

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh today called on FEMA to quickly approve federal disaster assistance in the wake of August storms that flooded large parts of central and eastern Montana.

Governor Steve Bullock sent his assistance request to FEMA earlier today. FEMA and state officials conducted a preliminary damage assessment of the region in September.

“The State of Montana remains committed to providing all resources to assist communities, but the damage outstrips the ability of our State, local and tribal governments,” Tester and Walsh told FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Delays in funding would be extremely hurtful to affected small businesses and communities, and we ask that you approve Montana’s funding request as soon as possible.”

A series of severe thunderstorms hit central and eastern Montana in late August, with microburst winds in excess of 75 mph hitting Carter County and causing damage to property in the Town of Ekalaka. The same series of storms also produced heavy rainfall and flooding in the counties of Valley, Petroleum, and Musselshell, as well as the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, causing severe damage to roadways, reservoirs, and culverts.

Tester recently toured eastern Montana, holding a field hearing on growth in the Bakken in Sidney and meeting with students in Glendive.

Tester and Walsh’s letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is available below.


Tester-Walsh MT Flooding Disaster Assistance Letter to Fugate by Dan Malessa