Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement tonight after the White House announced that President Donald Trump has granted the governor’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration for widespread spring flooding estimated to have caused roughly $40 million in damage to roads and other public infrastructure in North Dakota.
Burgum asked the President on May 22 to declare a major disaster. With today’s declaration, the President ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by flooding from April 1 to April 25, including 18 counties: Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Foster, Grand Forks, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Nelson, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Sheridan, Steele, Stutsman, Traill and Walsh.
“We’re deeply grateful to President Trump for recognizing the hardship caused by significant flood damage to roads, bridges and culverts in North Dakota counties that were already heavily burdened by recovery costs from significant spring and fall flooding in 2019,” Burgum said. “This presidential disaster declaration will assist our local governments and agencies in recovering from extensive infrastructure damage, while also making resources available to help communities reduce the long-term risk of future flooding. We thank FEMA and the administration for their swift response to our request, as well as Senators Hoeven and Cramer and Representative Armstrong for advocating for this much-needed relief for North Dakotans.”
A presidential declaration unlocks FEMA public assistance to help cities, counties and townships pay for the costs of repairing roads and other infrastructure damaged by flooding. Preliminary assessments indicated that damage in the 18 counties was expected to exceed $8.3 million, with an additional $2 million in damage estimated to still be underwater. The North Dakota Department of Transportation also reported damages totaling $29.7 million to its network of Federal Aid System (FAS) roads.
In addition, the declaration also allows the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be implemented on a statewide basis to make federal grants available to help communities pay for flood mitigation projects that increase resiliency and reduce costs in the long run.
President Trump and FEMA previously granted Burgum’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration in June 2019 in response to spring flooding in 19 North Dakota counties. This past January, the President also approved Burgum’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration that covered 16 counties impacted by a historic October 2019 storm that dumped record rain and snow on a large portion of North Dakota.