Conrad, Hoeven Work to Increase Support for Disaster Impacted Communities

Conrad Amendment Calls for $1Billion in Additional Community Development Block Grants, Hoeven Secures Appropriations Committee Approval for Additional FEMA, Corps Disaster Funding

Washington – Senator Kent Conrad continued his efforts to support flood impacted communities in North Dakota today by filing an amendment to provide $1 billion in federal grants designed to help communities recover from natural disasters like the floods that inundated Minot and Bismarck this year. Senator John Hoeven is a co-sponsor of the amendment. 

“As the people of Minot begin to rebuild their city and rebuild their lives, the federal government must do more to support those efforts,” Senator Conrad said. “That’s why these federal grants are so critical to the flood recovery efforts in North Dakota, as well as communities up and down the east coast that were affected by Hurricane Irene in recent weeks.” 

“We also worked this week on the Appropriations Committee to approve $6 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief programs as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill,” Hoeven said. “I specifically cited flooding in the Upper Midwest, as well as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters across the country to ensure that the focus was squarely on Minot and other areas of North Dakota that have suffered hardship due to flooding this year. This amendment will provide increased funding with the flexibility Minot and other communities need to recover as quickly as expeditiously as possible.” 

Senator Conrad has said repeatedly that Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were critical to Grand Forks’ recovery from the 1997 flood and are playing a key role in helping New Orleans rebound from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. 

In recent months, Senators Conrad and Hoeven have been rallying support on Capitol Hill for CDBG funding because it represents the most flexible form of federal aid, allowing individual communities to determine how best to put these resources towards recovery. 

Additionally Senator Conrad met with Major General Michael Walsh from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late yesterday to discuss the progress being made on flood protection and temporary housing for the people of Minot. 

Federal support in the way of FEMA Individual Assistance for families in and around Minot has exceeded more than $218 million.