Conrad and Hoeven Meet With Bismarck-Mandan Area Homeowners Impacted By Flooding

Senators Press Corps to Prioritize Flood Control in Missouri River Operating Plan

Bismarck – Senator Kent Conrad and Senator John Hoeven visited with homeowners in the Bismarck-Mandan region today that have been impacted by Missouri River flooding.  The Senators were joined by local leaders and officials from FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers to survey damaged homes and discuss how to avoid massive flooding in the future. 

"I have been impressed with the coordinated relief effort by state, local and federal officials. Most encouraging are the efforts of neighbors helping neighbors in need.  That is the North Dakota way,” Senator Conrad said.  "As we recover from these floods and move forward we must also look back and learn.  We need a top to bottom review of policies and procedure and adjustments must be made to ensure this kind of catastrophe never happens again." 

“We need to continue to do all we can to help with the flood recovery effort in the Bismarck-Mandan and Burleigh-Morton County area,” Hoeven said. “The approval yesterday of a 90 percent federal cost share was an important step, but we need to continue that effort and make sure we’re well prepared for next year.” 

In Bismarck, the Senators were joined by City Commissioner Brenda Smith, City Administrator Bill Wocken, Burleigh County Emergency Manager Mary Senger, and other local leaders.  In Mandan, Mayor Tim Helbling, City Administrator Jim Neubauer, and Morton County Commission Chair Bruce Strinden were among the many local officials who updated the Senators on the recovery efforts.  The leaders inspected homes and met with families in the Schlosser Addition near Mandan and the Glenwood Estates neighborhood south of Bismarck to get a firsthand look at the flood damage. 

Senators Conrad and Hoeven are pressing the Army Corps of Engineers to make adjustments to its management of the Missouri River.  In meetings with Brigadier General John McMahon, Commander of the Northwest Division of the Army Corps of Engineers, Senator Conrad has urged the Corps to prioritize flood control in next year’s operating plan for the Missouri River. The Senator is urging the Corps to incorporate lessons learned from this year’s flood as it formulates its 2011-2012 operating plan. 

In a recent letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator Conrad urged the committee to investigate the events leading up to this year’s epic flood and the response of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in managing the Missouri River dams. 

Senator Conrad is currently surveying flood recovery efforts throughout the state, including a visit to Minot and an review of how flooding has impacted North Dakota’s agriculture sector with U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Michael Scuse. 

Senator Conrad will also hold a hearing tomorrow in Fargo on permanent flood control.