Gov. Doug Burgum today expressed his deepest thanks to President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for granting North Dakota’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recovery from widespread spring flooding.
“We are extremely grateful to the Trump administration for recognizing the significant hardship that North Dakota farmers, homeowners, businesses, local governments and first responders experienced as a result of substantial – and, in some cases, unprecedented – spring flooding,” Burgum said. “This presidential disaster declaration will help our local governments and agencies recover from extensive infrastructure damage and make resources available to help communities reduce the long-term risk of future flooding.”
As requested by Burgum last month, the declaration covers the period from March 21 to April 29 and includes the counties of Adams, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Emmons, Grand Forks, Grant, Hettinger, LaMoure, Logan, McKenzie, Morton, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Traill and Walsh.
Flooding impacts were felt across the state, including in areas that rarely experience high waters, resulting in the evacuation and rescue of stranded residents and motorists and inundating hundreds of roads and thousands of acres of farmland. Unprecedented flooding near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in McKenzie County forced evacuations and prevented 110 displaced residents from returning to their homes for several days. At least eight homes were destroyed and 12 sustained major damage.
Preliminary damage assessments indicated that flood damage was expected to exceed nearly $8.5 million. It’s estimated an additional $2 million could be eligible when final assessments are completed.
Flood-related costs compounded the financial burden faced by local and tribal jurisdictions whose snow removal and emergency fund budgets were depleted by record or near-record snowfall in February and March, with season totals of 90 to 100 inches of snow in many areas, double the normal amount.
Burgum declared a statewide flood emergency on March 27, activating the State Emergency Operations Plan. The North Dakota National Guard, Department of Emergency Services and Department of Transportation were among the many state agencies that deployed resources to assist in flood-fighting efforts and worked closely with federal and local partners as part of the state’s whole-of-government approach to dealing with natural disasters.
The declaration includes public assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, as well as Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.