Conrad, Hoeven, Dalrymple Secure Additional Flood Support

Napolitano Says FEMA Could Help Relieve Underground Water Pressure and Will Revise Flood Day

Washington -  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today told Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Governor Jack Dalrymple that she shares their concerns with the flood emergency in the Bismarck - Mandan area and agreed to their request for additional federal support.

 Yesterday, the North Dakota leaders spoke with Napolitano and asked her to investigate two flood related concerns facing the Bismarck and Mandan communities. Senators Conrad and Hoeven and Governor Dalrymple -- along with Bismarck Mayor John Warford and Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling --  challenged the accuracy of the date - May 28 - the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initially determined the region was experiencing a flood event.  The lawmakers noted that Bismarck-Mandan did not officially reach flood stage until June 2, so the date FEMA determined was not accurate. 

Additionally, the North Dakota leaders requested FEMA assistance to help relieve hydrostatic pressure caused by record releases from the Garrison Dam. The additional federal support could protect hundreds of millions of dollars of private property, including homes and businesses. 

This afternoon, Napolitano said -- based on new information provided by the North Dakota leaders-- FEMA would deem June 1, to be the date of a flood "to be in progress" for purposes of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. 

Additionally, Napolitano said FEMA could share in the costs  for drilling and installing wells to release hydrostatic pressure that could threaten the community's infrastructure if it is cost effective, a formal request is made, and the standard cost share applies — 75% federal, 25% non-federal. 

"This is great news. We thank Secretary Napolitano for understanding the urgency of the situation, addressing our concerns in a timely fashion, and standing by the people of North Dakota," the leaders said in a joint statement.