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President signs disaster declaration for MT floods

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Water floods a crop field along Central Avenue west of Billings

Water floods a crop field along Central Avenue west of Billings late last month. Across Montana, rains in late May have transformed the once-bleak growing outlook for Montana farmers.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration making federal money available to help the state, local and tribal governments repair or replace facilities damaged by flooding in north-central and northeastern Montana this spring.

The declaration, signed Wednesday, makes federal money available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work or repairs due to flooding between May 19 and June 3 in Blaine, Chouteau, Custer, Dawson, Fergus, Garfield, Hill, McCone, Musselshell, Petroleum, Rosebud, and Valley counties along with the Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, and Rocky Boy's reservations.

Gov. Steve Bullock requested the federal help on July 1, saying a preliminary assessment indicates the flooding caused $3.15 million in damages to roads, culverts, bridges, water systems and government buildings.

Federal funding also is available for efforts to prevent flood damage.

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