State officials survey storm damage in Manhattan


State officials survey storm damage in Manhattan (8-7-13)

MANHATTAN, Mont. - We are following up on the storms that pounded Southwest Montana. On Wednesday state leaders toured the crop damage in Western Gallatin County to see just how bad the damage is. The damage spanned across Beaverhead, Madison and Gallatin counties.

We were there as Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester traveled to Manhattan to get a glimpse at some of the damage.

"To see crops and fields that were completely destroyed, I have never seen anything like it," said Bullock.

Bullock and Tester tell us the extent of damage is eye opening.

"Well it makes you sick, this close to harvest for these crops. Everything I saw today if it wasn't a total loss, it was right close to it," said Tester.

We also spoke with John Mahoney, who runs the Gallatin Grown farm with his wife Conni.

"It is exciting to see them out in the community and come out to support us," said Mahoney.

Their farm is approximately 8.5 acres and so far they cannot put a dollar amount on the damage. Mahoney estimates nearly 30 percent of their land was affected. Despite the devastation, they are keeping a positive attitude.

"In Montana, you got to take this in stride and see what you can make for next year," said Mahoney.

For state leaders the next step is to bring in help to those who lost so much.

"We will continue to work through the process. Work with the governors office, work with the rest of the congressional delegation to try to get something done on this issue," said Tester.

Wind gusts of close to 90 miles an hour were recorded during that storm. Damage to crops alone are expected to be close to 50 million dollars.

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