HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte has returned to Montana following a personal trip out of the country. The Governor's Office reports Gianforte left last Saturday to Italy with his wife for a long-planned personal, private trip.
According to a statement, when major flooding hit parts of southern Montana, Gianforte "delegated his authority to respond to the disaster to Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras with whom he worked closely over the last four days to take swift, decisive action."
Gianforte visited Gardiner on Friday with U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale to survey flood damage and meet with residents and civic leaders about recovering and rebuilding.
Montana is currently under a statewide disaster declaration and received a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden due to catastrophic flooding in several places, including Red Lodge, Billings and Livingston.
Both the state disaster declaration and major disaster declaration request were signed by Juras as acting governor.
Initial estimates put the damage to transportation infrastructure such as roads and bridges at nearly $30 million.