HELENA, Mont. -

Gov. Steve Bullock is asking President Barack Obama to issue a federal disaster declaration for Montana due to widespread flooding and ice jams last month.
            
Bullock's letter, dated Friday, explains that unusually high amounts of precipitation fell over the winter and cold weather allowed thick ice to develop on rivers and streams so when the snow melted quickly in early March, it caused ice jams and flooding.          

Bullock says the flooding caused widespread damage to roads, culverts, bridges and public buildings. He says the cost of responding to the recent flooding have exceeded the state's resources.   

Fifteen counties declared an emergency or a disaster; seven towns declared an emergency while the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Blackfeet reservations also sought assistance.            

Federal funds are not available to pay for private property damage.