Gov. Doug Burgum today stressed to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue the seriousness of North Dakota’s record fall precipitation and flooding, its devastating impact on farmers and ranchers and the likely need for federal assistance.
In a phone call with Perdue, Burgum shared the pressing concerns raised by farmers and ranchers during four public input meetings hosted by Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Monday in Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Fessenden, as well as the heightened risk of significant spring flooding if abnormally wet weather persists.
“Our farmers and ranchers are under a tremendous amount of stress, both economic and emotional, with billions of dollars in crops, hay and livestock forage stranded in saturated fields and ditches,” Burgum said. “We appreciate Secretary Perdue taking the time to learn about the unprecedented challenges facing our farmers and ranchers, and for his commitment to continuing to work with our state officials and congressional delegation to help provide a safety net for producers as we respond to this crisis with a whole of government approach.”
On Monday, Burgum signed an executive order declaring a statewide flood emergency, a critical step in requesting federal assistance to help North Dakotans deal with impacts caused by heavy fall rains and a historic October blizzard. To date, 18 counties have declared emergencies related to flooding or the blizzard: Barnes, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Grand Forks, Foster, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, McIntosh, Nelson, Richland, Rolette, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh and Wells. The cities of Grand Forks, Jamestown, LaMoure and Valley City also have declared emergencies.
Impacts to agricultural producers and public infrastructure are being compiled by the state Department of Emergency Services, Department of Agriculture and others for potential requests for federal assistance through a USDA secretarial disaster designation and a presidential disaster declaration. For updates and information on the flooding situation, visit www.ndresponse.gov.