Conrad, Hoeven Inspect Flooded Homes, Schools

Federal Government Will Be a Willing Partner in Recovery, Senators say

Minot – Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven were joined by Minot community leaders today to hear from residents, thank volunteers and inspect the community’s flood recovery efforts, including stops in affected neighborhoods and at the Eric Ramstad Middle School. 

“The severe flooding in Minot, Burlington and other communities has weighed heavily on each of us. The frustration here is evident – and understandable,” Senator Conrad said. “The recovery will be long, and it will be difficult. And it will require everyone, from federal, state and local leadership down through the many volunteers who have already come to Minot to help our friends and neighbors in need, to do their part to rebuild the Magic City.” 

“Our hearts and prayers go out to all affected by this year’s severe flooding,” Senator Hoeven said. “We are working hard to help, and based on state damage estimates the federal government will provide more than $700 million in assistance for North Dakota. To date, more than $195 million has been provided in FEMA Individual Assistance, the Corps of Engineers Souris River flood fight and SBA loans to help homeowners and businesses in the Minot area. More will be provided as additional claims are made. We need to continue to marshal all resources at every level to help with the recovery.”

Among a number of stops along the inspection, Senators Conrad and Hoeven met with Matt and Leslie Knutson at their home to hear of their experiences. The Knutson's home, which they have owned for six years, had seven feet of water on the main floor.  They evacuated on June 22 and were allowed to return on July 15. Like many others in Minot, they did not have flood insurance because it wasn't required since they were not in the 100 year flood plain. 

The Senators also inspected Erik Ramstad Middle School, one of three schools in Minot almost completely destroyed by the flood waters. Under the federal cost share declaration approved by President Obama this week, 90 percent of the cost to repair the school will be covered by FEMA. 

As of August 8, federal and state disaster assistance so far for this year’s flooding in North Dakota has surpassed $210 million. Senators Conrad and Hoeven said they are working hard through multiple agencies to deliver more for the families and businesses who have been affected.  

More than $82 million in federal funding has been approved for temporary housing and essential homes repairs, of which $80 million has been allocated in Ward County.  More than $1.5 million in federal funds has been awarded for serious disaster-related expenses, such as medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers has expended more than $37 million for the statewide flood fight, and approximately $89 million in Small Business Administration disaster loans to individuals and businesses have been approved, with $86.6 million for Ward County to date.  When estimated aid to public facilities, roads, hazard mitigation and SBA assistance is added in, federal support will be more than $700 million statewide.