Montana is flooding across 450 miles — and Gov. Greg Gianforte is out of the country for a 'few days: report
Bob Brigham.

Only 15 months after GOP Sen. Ted Cruz received national ridicule and condemnation for fleeing Texas to Cancun during a natural disaster, the Republican governor of Montana is missing in action as the state is being pummeled by dangerous flooding.

On Tuesday, the state of Montana finally declared a disaster, but it was not signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte. Instead it was issued by his deputy, Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras.

Correspondent Arren Kimbel-Sannit of the Montana Free Press learned more about Gianforte's whereabouts on Tuesday, but not much more.

"A spokesperson for Gianforte said the governor is out of the country but has been communicating with officials in the state, and that Juras is traveling to Red Lodge, one of the centers of the flooding, in his absence," the Free Press reported.

A spokesperson for Gianforte reported the governor will return to Montana in "a few days."

On Tuesday, the crisis expanded from south central Montana all the way to the Flathead Valley, more than 450 miles from the town of Cooke City, which flooded on Monday. The county sheriff urged a "precautionary evacuation" of some areas of Columbia Falls as the Flathead River continues to rise.

The town of Red Lodge also flooded and this reporter documented extensive destruction of Livingston and the Paradise Valley on Monday.

The Gallatin River, Madison River, one of the state's two Boulder Rivers, and the Stillwater River all flooded in addition to the Yellowstone.

The flooding has resulted in many closed business, workers unable to get to their shifts, thousands of stranded tourists, and a complete evacuation and closure of Yellowstone National Park.

Gianforte's office would also not reveal his location Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou, but did say Gianforte has been on a "personal trip" out of the country and has been out-of-state during the entirety of the flooding.