Tester, FEMA Administrator Visit Billings and Livingston to Assess Flood Damage, Meet with Community

Senator Tester and FEMA Administrator Criswell assessed the damage and provided updates on the federal flood response

Senator Tester today brought Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell on visits to Billings and Livingston to assess the damage caused by recent flooding and severe weather. This morning, Tester and Criswell visited a water-sewer treatment plant in Billings, which was closed earlier this week due to significant flooding on the Yellowstone River, and updated community members on the federal response to the disaster. This afternoon, they met with city and county officials in Livingston for a briefing on the flooding and ongoing recovery and response efforts.

Earlier this morning, Tester visited Red Lodge to survey the damage and meet with residents, whose community suffered significant damage as a result of the flooding.

“These communities have been hit hard by this disaster, and we need to make sure we get them the resources they need to rebuild and recover as soon as humanly possible,” said Tester. “That’s why being on the ground with Administrator Criswell and talking with Montanans who have been affected is so important—it’s critical to hear from the horse’s mouth what these communities need right now. I’m working closely with FEMA, the National Park Service, the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies to make sure the response to this tragedy is swift and efficient and I appreciate the work of our first responders in keeping folks safe.”

Earlier this week, the Montana congressional delegation sent a letter to President Biden, urging the approval of a major disaster declaration and activation of critical FEMA 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 has 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.

Today, the Montana congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) Stephanie Pollack, urging them to take immediate action and provide much-needed funding to areas affected by the recent flooding. This funding would be distributed through the FWHA Emergency Relief programs. The delegation also requested regular updates on the status of emergency relief activities and coordination.