Governor Steve Bullock today issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency due to flooding in seven counties, and on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation and in the Town of Chester.
“As Montanans are faced with flooding, we are doing everything necessary at the state level to protect health and safety, and to preserve lives, property, and resources,” said Governor Bullock. “We continue to keep in close communication with local and tribal officials as we monitor conditions around the state.”
Rapid snowmelt and flooding have impacted the Milk River Basin and Marias River Basin with the potential to cause widespread damage to farmland, private residences, and critical infrastructure. Near-record snowpack in nearly every river basin across Montana is soon expected to begin to melt off as temperatures begin to rise.
The executive order has been issued for the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the Town of Chester, and Pondera, Hill, Blaine, Valley, Toole, Liberty, and Petroleum Counties.
The executive order authorizes the availability and utilization of necessary state government services, equipment and supplies. It also allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to utilize sandbags and other resources available for critical infrastructure protection.
Additionally, Governor Bullock has established a Multi-Agency Coordinating Group to keep informed of the flooding situation statewide. The State Emergency Coordination Center continues to work closely with local and tribal jurisdictions.