U.S. Senator Jon Tester has announced $2.1 million in federal disaster assistance for Fallon County to help the community recover from a highly destructive tornado that touched down in Baker in June of last year.
“When disasters strike, we need to help folks on the ground pick up the pieces,” Tester said. “This funding will provide the people of Baker with resources to aid in a hard-fought recovery, allowing the community to restore some of what was lost.”
The damage from the tornado was widespread, destroying homes and public infrastructure – including utility infrastructure – and depositing approximately one hundred tons of hazardous debris into nearby Baker Lake.
The funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be used to restore the lake.
“The award of the funds from FEMA to clean up the tornado debris is essential to restoring Baker Lake, a centerpiece of our community, to its pre-disaster condition,” said Jason Rittal, Fallon County Development Adviser. “In addition to the critical financial assistance, Fallon County appreciates the cooperation it has received from all federal and state agencies involved to date.”
Recovery work on Baker Lake began 16 month ago. Earlier this month, the Western Municipal Construction crews started working on dredging sediment from the lake. Approximately 556,000 cubic yards of material are planned for removal from within the Baker Lake.
The work is slated to be completed in June 2018.