- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared parts of central and eastern Montana disaster areas after storms and flooding in August.

The designation frees up federal funding to help communities in Blaine, Carter, Musselshell, Petroleum and Valley counties and the Fort Belknap Reservation recover from the storms.

Gov. Steve Bullock requested the declaration last month.

The storms hit Carter County in late August with microburst winds in excess of 75 mph and damaged property in Ekalaka. Heavy rain and flooding in nearby areas caused severe damage to roads, reservoirs and culverts.

Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance will help communities with emergency repair work and the replacement of facilities damaged by the storms.

The U. S. Small Business Administration will also make low interest disaster loans available to small, nonfarm businesses while farm operations are eligible for assistance from the USDA Farm Services Agency.

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