Jun 21, 2010 12:51 PM by Greg Boyce
Billings city officials have declared an emergency after a tornado peeled the roof off of a sports arena and damaged several other businesses and homes.
Billings Police Sgt. Kevin Iffland says the commission gave verbal approval to the declaration Sunday evening, allowing the Montana Army National Guard to help provide security to the most damaged areas of the city overnight. The declaration will also help speed access to funding and allow the city to go around normal bidding requirements to hire cleanup crews.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer was scheduled to arrive in Billings around noon Monday for briefings and a tour of the damage from the tornado that touched down at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. No deaths or major injuries were reported.