For Immediate Release - December 8, 2000
HELENA - Governor Marc Racicot's request for federal disaster funds for damages caused by early harsh snowstorms in six Eastern Montana counties has been approved by President Clinton.
"This year's early storms caused significant damages. We are grateful for the additional assistance provided by the federal government for those negatively affected," said Governor Racicot. "And we appreciate how quickly the disaster declaration was approved."
The federal assistance will allow the rural electric co-ops in the declared areas to recover eligible costs associated with restoring power to approximately 400 families and for the repair of their systems that were damaged or destroyed by the snowstorms that occurred at the end of October and the first week of November. Costs incurred by counties or cities in the disaster area may also be eligible. Eligible costs would be reimbursed by FEMA at 75% with a 25% match from the applicant.
Downed powerlines left approximately 400 families without power in the Northeast corner of the state in Roosevelt and Sheridan counties. In some cases, it took up to two weeks to restore power. Sheridan Electric Co-op estimates that 500 power poles were broken, knocked down or otherwise damaged and powerlines snapped from heavy and freezing snowfall and high winds during the season's first severe snowstorm.
The declared counties are: Sheridan, Roosevelt, Richland, Wibaux, Fallon, and Carter.