President Donald Trump has approved Gov. Doug Burgum’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration for the impacts of a severe summer storm that caused flash flooding in several counties and resulted in more than $5 million in damage to roads and other infrastructure.
The declaration covers six counties: Benson, Grand Forks, McKenzie, Mountrail, Nelson and Wells. The June 29-July 1 storm destroyed infrastructure and damaged homes with high winds, hail and 4 to 8 inches of rain in some areas. Many of the counties were also pummeled by previous disasters that produced catastrophic flooding during the last two years.
The presidential declaration unlocks public assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help cities, counties and townships pay for the costs of repairing roads and other infrastructure. Preliminary assessments indicate damage to local infrastructure systems exceeded $2.25 million, and damage to the state’s Federal Aid System highways totaled nearly $2.9 million.
“We appreciate President Trump and FEMA granting our request and making assistance available to help our local jurisdictions recover from this storm, which washed out roads, damaged bridges and railroad tracks, flooded basements, swamped fields and pastures and knocked out power to thousands of North Dakotans,” Burgum said.
Today’s declaration also makes all areas of the state eligible for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to help communities pay for projects that increase resiliency and reduce costs in the long run.