Gov. Doug Burgum today issued an executive order declaring a statewide emergency for spring flooding as soaring temperatures and heavy snowpack are expected to produce widespread flooding across the state this week and next week, especially in eastern North Dakota.
The executive order officially puts all state agencies, including the North Dakota National Guard, on standby to provide resources and capabilities as needed. The state has been mobilizing public and private partners to prepare for and assist in the flood fight since the start of the year.
“Deep snowpack that’s ripe for melting will combine with a rapid warmup this week to put North Dakota’s flood fighting skills to the test once again, so it’s essential that state agencies be ready to respond at a moment’s notice,” Burgum said. “North Dakotans are experienced flood fighters, and working together with our local, state and federal agencies in a whole-of-government approach, we can overcome whatever challenges lie ahead.”
The executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to assist local and tribal officials, alleviate hardships, implement appropriate recovery actions and future mitigation measures, and facilitate restoration of services and infrastructure.
In addition, legislative leaders today planned to propose $2 million for natural disaster response and recovery funding as an amendment to the Office of the Adjutant General’s budget.
“As citizens prepare for the worst and hope for the best in communities and rural areas across North Dakota, the Legislature stands fully ready to support the state’s flood response and recovery efforts,” House Majority Leader Mike Lefor and Senate Majority Leader David Hogue said in a joint statement.
At least six counties – Cass, Dickey, Grand Forks, LaMoure, Pembina and Richland – have issued emergency declarations to address flooding and storm impacts, and additional counties are considering declarations.
Flood outlooks issued by the National Weather Service point to the potential for significant river, tributary and overland flooding in the Missouri, James, Sheyenne and Red river basins, with Top 10 flood crests possible in many locations. With the emergency declaration now in place, the state Department of Emergency Services will continue to partner with local agencies on flood preparation and response efforts.
Last week, Burgum signed a bill passed by the Legislature that provides $20 million for emergency snow removal grants to eligible tribal governments, counties, cities and townships.
North Dakota residents are urged to prepare for flooding before it happens, including determining whether they’re in a floodplain and identifying the fastest way to higher ground and which nearby roads are most likely to flood. For more information, visit www.weather.gov/flood.
For those curious about their flood risk, NDRAM is a flood-risk identification portal that conveys flood warnings and U.S. Geological Survey flood-stage data in the “Weather” tab. Those looking to purchase flood insurance or who have questions about existing flood insurance policies are encouraged to contact their flood insurance agent immediately.