Montana Governor Shares Reactions to Yellowstone Flooding

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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte called the KGVO Newsmakers line on Tuesday to provide an update on what his office is doing in conjunction with the federal government to help recover Yellowstone Park and surrounding communities from the recent devastating flood. .

Gianforte described his first official acts to help the situation.

“We applied for the federal declaration of emergency last Monday and it was approved,” Gianforte said. “At the end of last week, Friday, I met with the administrator of FEMA and kudos to them. He is the head of FEMA in the United States. She did not form a committee. She did not no consultant called in. She got on a plane and flew to Montana to survey the damage and took her entire team with her.

Gianforte provided an overview of the damage.

“Friday we flew over the Gardiner River and Paradise Valley,” he said. “The road to the park? It’s just gone in many places. The main road bridge, the 89 Bridge Point of Rocks, was completely washed away. But the most dramatic thing for me was the girl who owns the Yellowstone River Hotel in Gardiner. At the town hall meeting we had on Friday with standing room only, she held back an inch-thick pile of cancellations for hotel rooms she had received in the past 48 hours. .

The governor highlighted the considerable efforts made by the contractors to repair the destroyed infrastructure in the park.

“Today this bridge 89 in Paradise Valley should be reopened,” he said. “Congratulations to the contractor. I spoke to him yesterday. They hauled 5,000 tons of rock in there and they worked 13-hour shifts to get that lifeline back to Gardner open. Now you have to open the We have been working with the superintendent They have a plan to build an alternate road through the park because without this tourist traffic these main street businesses in Gardiner and Red Lodge simply will not survive.

Gianforte said KGVO listeners can help alleviate the tragic situation in the Yellowstone region by traveling to Paradise Valley and spending money.

“Here’s something every Montanan can do,” he said. “Paradise Valley is beautiful. There’s Chico Hot Springs. There are five rafting companies in Gardiner. You can fish in the Yellowstone River. You can stay in one of the hotels. You can buy lunch there. I would encourage people to come down and spend some money. Why not make it a weekend? I plan on rafting the Yellowstone River in Gardiner, and hope other people will too. The Red Lodge rodeo is approaching. I’m planning on being there, and maybe we’ll donate a little coin and that will help the community as well.

The governor said the Presidential Disaster Statement is already beginning to provide needed funding and other federal assistance to residents of affected areas.

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Widespread flooding destroyed roads, bridges, buildings and power lines in riverside communities, from Yellowstone National Park and Paradise Valley to Red Lodge. The Yellowstone River meandering through Billings crested on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. At 11:30 a.m., the National Weather Service in Billings reported the river had passed flood stage and was forecast to reach 14.7 feet, nearing the record high. of 15 feet established in 1997. .

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