Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), and Cody Schulz, North Dakota Homeland Security director, today led a conference call with emergency managers from across the state to determine if additional resources or capabilities are needed to respond to last weekend’s severe storms and heavy rainfall. The conversation also focused on determining the extent of damages experienced by the affected jurisdictions and the upcoming recovery process.
As waters continued to recede this week, local emergency managers were completing damage assessments and coordinating with volunteer agencies to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts. The NDDES anticipates collecting more detailed damage assessments in the next seven to 10 days and will determine whether those damages would allow the state to pursue a potential federal disaster declaration.
“From flooded basements and washed-out roads to soggy fields too wet to harvest, heavy rains are taking their toll on North Dakota residents, and more precipitation is predicted,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “We’re committed to a whole-of-government approach and using all appropriate resources to ensure the safety and economic security of our citizens during this situation.”
Dohrmann and Schulz were joined by representatives from several state agencies during today’s call, including the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and the State Water Commission, as well as the National Weather Service.
Eighteen of North Dakota’s 53 counties and four tribal governments joined the call, with eight of those counties reporting impacts from recent weather events. The following counties participated in today’s call: Barnes, Cass, Foster, Grand Forks, Grant, Kidder, LaMoure, Mercer, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Sheridan, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh and Ward.
While local emergency managers have been working to contend with issues produced by oversaturation, no state resources have been requested at this time.
Recent heavy rains have inundated roads and left numerous residences with water in their basements in many areas. On Saturday, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and North Dakota Highway Patrol closed sections of highways in central North Dakota and on Interstate 29 near Grand Forks because of flooding. NDDOT also inspected and repaired a section of State Highway 200 in Wells County between Sykeston and Hurdsfield where a culvert had washed out. All of the affected roads are now open.
This weekend, with more rain being forecasted statewide, the NDDES will continue to monitor and coordinate with emergency managers regarding impacts and potential resource needs.