Tester Secures $7 Million for Carbon County Flood Recovery

Senator worked for FEMA resources to replace three bridges

Following last year’s historic flooding in Carbon County, U.S. Senator Jon Tester this week secured $6,936,167.99 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for the replacement of the East Side South, East Side North, and Meeteetse Trail Bridges through the FY23 government funding bill.

In December, 2022, Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation who voted to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which fully funded FEMA’s flood recovery efforts in Montana including $916 million for the National Park Service and $355 million for additional FEMA recovery efforts after disasters.

“Last year’s floods were devastating for folks in Carbon County as well as the small businesses that call it home, so that’s why I fought to secure funding to give our gateway communities the resources they need to rebuild,” said Tester. “People in Red Lodge depend on safe and reliable infrastructure to grow their businesses and support their outdoor economy, and repairing these bridges will help give them the certainty need to bounce back stronger than ever.”

The FEMA funding will be awarded to Carbon County in the form of three separate grants, which the county will use the funding to restore all three bridges back to pre-disaster design, capacity, and function. Additional details included below:

  • $2,567,760.89 to replace the Meeteetse Trail Bridge, which was completely washed out as a result of the flood
  • $2,276,429.77 to replace the East Side Bridge South, which was completely washed out as a result of the flood
  • $2,091,977.33 to replace the East Side Bridge North, which was completely washed out as a result of the flood

Following the federal disaster declaration in June of 2022, Tester fought to secure $988.4 million in federal funding for southern Montana, including Yellowstone National Park, to help local communities and economies recover from the catastrophic flooding. A timeline of additional resources secured by Tester specifically for Montana and Yellowstone National Park flood recovery efforts until now can be found here.

Tester has fought tirelessly to ensure that rural communities affected by the flooding have the resources they need to get back on their feet. In July, 2022 Tester and his fellow members of the Montana delegation secured assurance from USFS that guides, outfitters, and small businesses would receive support and flexibility in finding alternative options to operate on public lands. And in June, 2022 Tester and his colleagues 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 assistance 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.