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Hoeven announces ongoing "Button-Up Northwood" effort to be assisted by the North Dakota National Guard

Posted on 11/14/2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Ray Morrell or Cecily Fong
November 14, 2007701-328-8100


BISMARCK, N.D. - Governor John Hoeven today announced the N.D. National Guard (NDNG) has been activated to support the ongoing "Button-Up Northwood" effort. The City of Northwood is rebuilding from the August 26th Enhance Fujita (EF) 4 tornado that devastated the town, caused one death and injured many. "Button-Up Northwood" is a collaborative effort between the City of Northwood, N.D. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NDVOAD), N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), the NDNG, Bismarck State College (BSC) and State College of Science-Wahpeton (NDSCS).

"My first priority is the safety and well-being of the residents who are currently living in homes that are still exposed to the elements. Winter is just around the corner and I've heard about homes that still have rafters exposed," Hoeven said.

While rebuilding efforts have been ongoing and extensive, some residents have had difficulty finding available contractors who are qualified to make the necessary repairs. The shortage of skilled labor in the area has necessitated the Guard's assistance to facilitate the repairs of approximately 17 severely damaged homes to make them habitable for winter.

"Guard units from Fargo and Bismarck, in conjunction with student volunteers from university and college vocational trade schools from across the state will be in Northwood from November 16th to the 18th making the needed repairs," said Major General (MG) David Sprynczynatyk Adjutant General for NDNG. "Soldiers will act as team leaders for the volunteer force, supplying needed construction expertise and providing construction personnel as laborers."

This weekend's efforts will be coordinated by VOAD and supported by the City of Northwood, NDDES, NDNG, BSC, and NDSCS. Greg Wilz, Director of the N.D. Division of Homeland Security said, "In some cases, the repairs needed are extensive and range from closing exposed roof rafters and ceiling trusses to installing siding, windows and rebuilding chimneys." He added, "I am confident that our efforts will be successful and needed repairs will be completed over the weekend."

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