HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte has returned to Montana following a personal trip out of the country.
The governor's office reports Gianforte left early Saturday morning to Italy with his wife for a long-planned personal, private trip.
According to a statement issued Friday morning, when the flooding struck 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 is scheduled to visit Gardiner on Friday to survey the damage and meet with residents and local officials about recovering and rebuilding.
Montana is currently under a statewide disaster declaration and has requested a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden due to historic and catastrophic flooding in places like Yellowstone National Park, Red Lodge, Billings, and Livingston. On Thursday, Gianforte's office reported that Montana had secured the major disaster declaration from President Biden.
Both the state disaster declaration and major disaster declaration requests were signed by Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras as acting governor.
Initial estimates put the damage to transportation infrastructure like roads and bridges at nearly $30 million.