Conrad, Hoeven Help Lay Groundwork for Flood Recovery Effort
"This is Going to Be a Long Road Back, Requiring a Team Effort" Senator says
Minot – Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven returned home to North Dakota today to get a firsthand look at flood recovery efforts in Minot and brief local leaders on efforts to secure federal disaster assistance.
"As the Souris begins to recede, we are beginning to get a real sense of the tremendous devastation this flood caused. The road to recovery will be long. We will face some hurdles along the way. But we will recover. We will rebuild. And we will do it together," Senator Conrad said.
“The people in the Minot area have shown tremendous resilience throughout this historic flood,” said Senator Hoeven. “As the toll of the Souris becomes more apparent, we are more committed now than ever to ensuring the resources are in place to help these communities move forward.”
While in Minot today, Senators Conrad and Hoeven inspected flood recovery efforts with Colonel Michael Price, Commander of the St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Senators have been helping coordinate recovery efforts with the Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies.
The Senators also met with Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman and other community leaders to discuss flood recovery efforts. A preliminary FEMA survey done on June 25 indicated that more than 4,100 structures have been impacted by the flooding.
The North Dakota leaders discussed coordinating local, state and federal recovery efforts to assist communities along the Souris River. They focused on housing for displaced flooding victims, both in the short and long term, as one of the most pressing issues. The Senators noted that a housing task force has already been convened by the State with relevant state, federal and local partners to work on these efforts.
In addition, the meeting focused on plans to relocate more than 1,000 Minot area students whose schools have been flood damaged and may be unfit to occupy this fall.
Earlier today, Senators Conrad and Hoeven met with Major General Murray Sagsveen, who has been appointed by Governor Jack Dalrymple to coordinate statewide flood recovery efforts.
The Senators have been pressing federal agencies for additional recovery aid for flood ravaged North Dakota. As a result, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate extended Individual Assistance (IA) to several of North Dakota's flood impacted communities.
More than 5,000 people have registered for federal assistance, and more than $1.7 million in funds have been distributed by FEMA to those impacted.
Senators Hoeven and Conrad today called for a review of the operating plans for the Souris River dams in light of this historic flood event.
"This flooding disaster is far beyond anything anyone ever anticipated. There are lessons to be learned here. Every effort needs to be made to find out if this disaster could have been prevented and what can be done to better protect our communities in the future," the Senators said in a joint statement.
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