UPDATE, JUNE 16 AT 11:04 AM:
Governor Greg Gianforte is scheduled to return to Montana Thursday night according to the Office of the Governor.
HELENA, Mont. - The Office of the Governor has shared a summary of actions the state has taken since the State Emergency Coordination Council was activated.
On Monday, Governor Greg Gianforte verbally authorized a state disaster declaration, allowing the state immediate and maximum flexibility to assist communities whose resources had been exhausted.
In addition, since he was out of town at the time, Gianforte also provided Lieutenant Governor Juras express written authorization to act on his behalf in response to the flooding in Montana, including by signing EO 4-2022 on his behalf.
Lt. Gov. Juras executed EO 4-2022, in accordance with the governor’s verbal authorization on Monday of a statewide disaster in Montana on Tuesday, and that morning Juras traveled to Red Lodge to meet with state and local emergency response professionals.
While in Red Lodge, the lieutenant governor received a briefing with incident command, met with members of the Montana National Guard involved in search-and-rescue operations, and met with residents who have been evacuated according to the summary.
Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Gianforte announced the state is pursuing an expedited presidential disaster declaration to cover the cost of emergency protective measures as flooding and flood warnings persist.
Briefings have been given to both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor since the onset of the flooding by personnel at the Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, local officials, and state agency leaders, including from the Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The Office of the Governor says Gov. Gianforte has also been in regular communication with local elected leaders, local law enforcement officials and state and local disaster and emergency services personnel.
“The governor and state’s top priority currently remains evacuation in areas of danger, ensuring shelter for displaced residents, and safely restoring water and power,” the Office of the Governor wrote. “The governor is committed to bringing every resource to bear to support impacted communities in their response, recovery, and rebuilding.”