Biden declares major disaster; Tester, FEMA head, Gianforte visit; local officials give flood updates

By 
Enterprise Staff
Friday, June 17, 2022

On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster existed in the state of Montana and ordered federal assistance to supplement local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe flooding.

Federal funding is available to state, tribal, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by extreme flooding in the counties of Carbon, Park, and Stillwater.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester was joined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, Livingston Interim City Manager Lisa Lowry, and Park County Director of the Office of Emergency Management Greg Coleman to assess the flood damage in Livingston caused by the Yellowstone River and meet with members of the community.

Tester and Administrator Criswell also provided an update on the federal response to flooding affecting communities in southwest Montana.

Also on Friday, Gov. Greg Gianforte was in Gardiner with federal and state officials to survey flood damage in Park County and Yellowstone National Park.

The latest news release from Whitney Bermes, incident public information officer, on disaster recovery efforts in Park County included the following information:

• The Montana County Assist Team is continuing to assess property and infrastructure damage throughout the county, including some drone missions for properties not easily accessible. This is important for the Federal Disaster Declaration, approved Thursday.

• Residents in Park and Stillwater counties may see drone activity in their counties on Friday.

• If you want to support residents, consider donating to the Southwest Montana Flood Relief Fund by texting Flood22 to 41444 or go to www.greatergallatinunitedway.org.

• The road from Cooke City/Silver Gate to Cody, Wyoming is currently open.

• All open roads between Livingston and Gardiner are for local and essential traffic only.

• All entrances to Yellowstone National Park remain closed.

• Please avoid the trails through Sacajawea Park in Livingston and the Myers River Trail due to some undercut banks.

• A “boil water advisory” is in place in Gardiner and Silver Gate

A Park County Emergency Services phone line has been set up to handle non-emergency flood-related questions. Call (406) 222-4131.

Also, Park County Emergency Services has an official Facebook page with up-to-date flood-related information. The page name is Park County Flooding - June 2022; scroll down to that site. The address is https://www.facebook.com/groups/561067555431934.