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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 25,1997
                        PRESIDENT CLINTON DECLARES
                         MAJOR DISASTER IN MONTANA

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Montana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, ice jams, snowmelt, flooding, and extreme soil saturation on March 1, 1997, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected local governments in a seventeen-county area. The counties are Broadwater, Carbon, Dawson, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Judith Basin, Lincoln, Meagher, Musselshell, Park, Ravalli, Richland, Sanders, Sweet Grass, Treasure, Wheatland, and Yellowstone. The Flatland Indian Reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is also included.

Federal funding is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe storms, ice jams, snowmelt, flooding, and extreme soil saturation. Federal funding is also available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.