Montana Governor Still Mysteriously Missing as State Suffers Devastating Floods

Montana Governor Still Mysteriously Missing as State Suffers Devastating Floods
File photo of Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on Feb. 10, 2021 (left) A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Montana, June 15, 2022. (Photo: Thom Bridge/Independent Record - David Goldman, AP)

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a man best known nationally for once body-slamming a reporter, has been missing for the past few days as the state experiences devastating and historic flooding. The governor’s office refuses to say where Gianforte currently is, only stating that he left the country sometime last week, according to the Montana Free Press.

The mysterious disappearance of Gianforte, described as a “personal trip,” according to the Montana Free Press, couldn’t have come at a worse time. Montana has been struggling with horrific flooding that has hit homes, washed out at least six bridges, and caused damage to the 308 and 212 highways. In fact, the floods are so bad Yellowstone National Park has been closed for the first time since the wildfires of 1988 — just as the summer tourism season was really kicking off.

Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras, who’s apparently the Acting Governor of Montana right now, signed a disaster declaration on Tuesday, which should free up money for assistance. Federal disaster relief experts have also mobilized to the region, with FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell landing in Helena on Wednesday night, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Criswell is scheduled to hold a press conference today at 2:30 p.m. local time with Lt. Gov. Juras in Red Lodge, a town that’s seen some of the worst flooding. Damage to infrastructure in Montana currently stands at an estimated $US29 ($40) million, according to the Chronicle, with a formal request sent to President Biden along with six federal agencies for relief money: the EPA, the Dept. of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, HHS, and the Dept. of Transportation.

When will Gianforte finally get back to Montana? Nobody knows but Gianforte, it seems. But he’s tweeting from wherever on the globe he happens to be right now. And the replies to the governor’s tweets are about what you’d expect for a man who’s vanished under weird circumstances.

“We are closely monitoring the flooding in the Flathead and Miles City and working with local authorities,” Gianforte tweeted on Wednesday night.

“Who is we??? And where in the hell are you?” one person tweeted, in a typical response.

Others speculated that perhaps Gianforte is in Cancun, a reference to the time Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas fled to Mexico for a vacation while people in his state were freezing to death during an energy crisis. Some people even made photoshops joking about the similarities.

But at least the people of Texas knew Old Teddy Cruz was heading on vacation and where he was going. The people of Montana still have no idea where their AWOL governor has been, let alone when he’ll return.

Click through for more photos of the devastation in Montana and at Yellowstone National Park. The images are heartbreaking and they’ll make you even more mad that an elected official who’s tasked with taking care of his state is missing while the people of Montana suffer.

Bridges and Homes Destroyed

A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (Photo: David Goldman, AP)A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (Photo: David Goldman, AP)

Red Lodge Cleanup

Residents of Red Lodge, Montana, are seen clearing mud, water and debris  from the small city's main street on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, after  flood waters courses through a residential area with hundreds of homes. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Residents of Red Lodge, Montana, are seen clearing mud, water and debris from the small city’s main street on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, after flood waters courses through a residential area with hundreds of homes. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Livingston Under Water

In this aerial view, flooding is seen on June 14, 2022 in Livingston,  Montana. The Yellowstone River hit a historic high flow from rain  and snow melt from the mountains in and around Yellowstone National  Park.  (Photo: William Campbell, Getty Images)In this aerial view, flooding is seen on June 14, 2022 in Livingston, Montana. The Yellowstone River hit a historic high flow from rain and snow melt from the mountains in and around Yellowstone National Park. (Photo: William Campbell, Getty Images)

Washed Out Bridge at Yellowstone

A washed out bridge shown along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Gardiner, Mont.  (Photo: Rick Bowmer, AP)A washed out bridge shown along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Gardiner, Mont. (Photo: Rick Bowmer, AP)

Yellowstone Roads Washed Away

This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded  out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner,  Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, Getty Images)This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, Getty Images)

Neighbourhood Damage

Debris is seen blocking a street in Red Lodge, Montana, on Tuesday, June  14, 2022, after floodwaters coursed through a neighbourhood with  hundreds of houses the day before. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Debris is seen blocking a street in Red Lodge, Montana, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, after floodwaters coursed through a neighbourhood with hundreds of houses the day before. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Kindness to Strangers

Chandler Peabody, left, gives a free meal to Perry Roberts near a  flood-damaged neighbourhood in Red Lodge, Mont., Tuesday, June 14, 2022.  Roberts' basement was inundated, ruining his hot water heater and  furnace.  (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Chandler Peabody, left, gives a free meal to Perry Roberts near a flood-damaged neighbourhood in Red Lodge, Mont., Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Roberts’ basement was inundated, ruining his hot water heater and furnace. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Cars in the Flood

Flood damage is seen along a street Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Flood damage is seen along a street Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Raging Rivers Do Their Worst

In this handout photo provided by the National Park Service, water  levels in Gardner River rise alongside the North Entrance Road in  Yellowstone National Park on June 13, 2022 in Gardiner, Montana. (Photo: National Park Service, Getty Images) In this handout photo provided by the National Park Service, water levels in Gardner River rise alongside the North Entrance Road in Yellowstone National Park on June 13, 2022 in Gardiner, Montana. (Photo: National Park Service, Getty Images)

Pumping Out the Basement

Micah Hoffman is seen in his mud-covered yard as a pump removes water  from his basement, Tuesday June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Micah Hoffman is seen in his mud-covered yard as a pump removes water from his basement, Tuesday June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Homes Flooded

Flooding is seen on June 14, 2022 in Livingston, Montana. The  Yellowstone River hit has a historic high flow from rain and snow melt  from the mountains in and around Yellowstone National Park.  (Photo: William Campbell, Getty Images)Flooding is seen on June 14, 2022 in Livingston, Montana. The Yellowstone River hit has a historic high flow from rain and snow melt from the mountains in and around Yellowstone National Park. (Photo: William Campbell, Getty Images)

North Entrance Road, Yellowstone

This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded  out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner,  Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, AP)This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, AP)

Cleaning Up the Flooded Homes

Residents of Red Lodge, Mont., inspect damage to a house that was  flooded after torrential rains fell across the Yellowstone region,  Tuesday, June 14, 2022.  (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Residents of Red Lodge, Mont., inspect damage to a house that was flooded after torrential rains fell across the Yellowstone region, Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Flooding at Bridger Farms

Floodwaters are seen along the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River near Bridger, Mont., on Monday, June 13, 2022.  (Photo: Emma H. Tobin, AP)Floodwaters are seen along the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River near Bridger, Mont., on Monday, June 13, 2022. (Photo: Emma H. Tobin, AP)

Patrol Cabin Gone

This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows the Lower  Blacktail Patrol Cabin washed away in Yellowstone National Park on  Monday, June 13, 2022.  (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, AP)This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows the Lower Blacktail Patrol Cabin washed away in Yellowstone National Park on Monday, June 13, 2022. (Photo: Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service, AP)

Trying to Stay Dry in Red Lodge

Ken Ebel is seen in front of his flood-damaged house and yard, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)Ken Ebel is seen in front of his flood-damaged house and yard, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Destroyed Roads at Yellowstone National Park

This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded  out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner,  Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Doug Kraus/National Park Service, AP)This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., on June 13, 2022. (Photo: Doug Kraus/National Park Service, AP)

Homes Tipping Over

A house that was pulled into Rock Creek in Red Lodge, Mont., by raging floodwaters is seen Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)A house that was pulled into Rock Creek in Red Lodge, Mont., by raging floodwaters is seen Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Flooding in Bridger

Floodwaters inundated property along the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River near Bridger, Mont, on Monday, June 13, 2022 (Photo: Emma H. Tobin, AP)Floodwaters inundated property along the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River near Bridger, Mont, on Monday, June 13, 2022 (Photo: Emma H. Tobin, AP)

Red Lodge Streets

A street badly damaged by flooding is seen, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)A street badly damaged by flooding is seen, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)