(Billings, Montana -- Yellowstone Public Radio) Senator Max Baucus is calling for a quick federal response after touring some of Montana’s flood-ravaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure this week.
During a conference call late last week with county and tribal officials, Baucus was told some county roads were “liquefied” by the flood waters. The officials added they don’t have the money for repairs. Afterwards, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure wrote a letter to US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to request federal funds to help pay for repairs.
“A lot of America is stressed by Mother Nature,” Baucus says. “So there may be an opportunity there in a disaster appropriations bill to include some special Montana needs. It might include some county roads and bridges.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are now in Montana assessing the damage from May’s flooding.
Officials are warning Montanans and those downstream that heavy mountain snowpack has just begun melting -- which will further strain swollen rivers, streams and saturated ground.