FEMA approves additional funding for response to 2018 Montana flooding

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 20:05:35-04

HELENA – The federal government has agreed to provide additional support for Montana counties – including Lewis and Clark County – recovering from this spring’s flooding.

The White House announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump had declared a major disaster in Carbon, Custer, Golden Valley, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Musselshell, Park, Powell and Treasure Counties, in response to flooding between May 1 and June 10. Gov. Steve Bullock had appealed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add those nine counties to a federal disaster declaration made earlier this year.

According to Bullock’s office, FEMA will now provide about $1.53 million for flood recovery efforts in those counties. The money will be used to reimburse counties for damage to public infrastructure like roads and bridges, or for the costs to protect that infrastructure. FEMA will cover up to 75 percent of eligible costs, while the state and counties will pay for the rest.

Delila Bruno, administrator for Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, said the successful appeal means they will have all the most serious flooding effects covered.

“We’re really pleased with what FEMA’s provided us here,” she said. “We’re excited to move out on these projects.”

In August, FEMA approved a major disaster declaration for Blaine, Hill, Liberty, Petroleum, Pondera, Toole and Valley Counties. Bruno said those counties generally saw more flood damage earlier in the year, while the newly added counties had more damage later in the spring.

In Lewis and Clark County, authorities say they will be eligible for up to $266,775. Jeni Garcin, the county’s communications and community outreach coordinator, said they will now work on evaluating what costs they will be able to recover.

Bruno said FEMA will send a team to do additional damage assessments before determining the final amount of funding they will provide.