Congressional Delegation Works with Minot Community on Flood Fight, Recovery Efforts

Leaders Brief Homeland Security Secretary on Situation on the Ground, Call for Individual Assistance to be Quickly Approved

Minot – Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg today met with local leaders and state and federal emergency officials to consider the way forward after flood waters overtopped the city’s flood protection walls earlier this week.  

“The situation in Minot  remains serious. Seeing it firsthand amplifies the significant loss the community has already faced,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “Our job now is to ensure our neighbors are cared for and limit the scope of the damage to property and businesses.” 

Following an aerial and ground inspection of the community, the North Dakota leaders briefed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the situation on the ground. In addition, the delegation urged the Secretary to quickly approve the state's request for Individual Assistance for North Dakota's flood impacted communities. An Individual Assistance designation will mean that those who are approved through the application process may be eligible for financial assistance through FEMA.  

Communities across North Dakota have faced significant flood threats this spring, with the most significant threats settling in central North Dakota with the focus on Minot and Bismarck and surrounding towns. 

Flood controls in Minot were compromised early Wednesday afternoon after significantly higher than expected outflows from Canada, coupled with heavy rain, dramatically increased the amount and strength of the water that would be flowing into the area, hastening the date and raising the height of the crest in and around Minot. 

Participants in today's briefing with the Congressional delegation included Governor Jack Dalrymple, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, Burlington Mayor Jerome Gruenberg, as well as leaders from the North Dakota National Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service. 

The delegation praised city leadership, volunteers and the North Dakota National Guard, Army Corps and FEMA for their tireless efforts to fight the rising flood waters and orchestrate a timely and efficient evacuation when it became clear that the levees protecting the city would not hold. 

“The City of Minot and surrounding communities are in for difficult days ahead.  But North Dakotans have proven their ability time and time again to overcome extraordinary situations.  And we have no doubt this resiliency will help us in these days and weeks ahead," the delegation said. 

Additionally, the Congressional delegation met with leaders from outlying communities in the Souris Basin that have been impacted by the flooding, including Velva, Sawyer, Burlington, Renville County and McHenry County.