FEMA Officials Assessing Flood Damage To Montana Roads

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(Roundup, MT-YPR) -- Federal emergency teams are in Montana assessing preliminary flood damage to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

Normally such assessments are used to determine whether a state might qualify for a presidential disaster declaration.

Governor Brian Schweitzer determined the flooding  so far warranted seeking the declaration.

In his request Schweitzer said, “This incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments.”

The Democrat included 37 of Montana’s 56 counties and 5 of its American Indian Reservations in the request to President Barack Obama.

One of the counties in that request is Musselshell in central Montana.

County officials estimate nearly 30 roads and up to 7 bridges were damaged by last weeks flooding. This includes washed out roads, sink holes, and at least two bridges that were knocked off their footings.

There could be additional damage but high water is prevent officials from getting a first hand look.

If the state’s request for a presidential disaster declaration is granted federal money could become available for roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

This flooding was due to heavy rain.

DES officials say the worst is yet to come with anticipated spring run-off of mountain snowpack bringing even more water to swollen rivers.