Delegation: President Approves North Dakota Governor's Disaster Declaration Request

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, and Congressman Kevin Cramer today said President Barack Obama has approved Governor Jack Dalrymple’s request for a major disaster declaration for 16 counties and the Spirit Lake Nation due to spring flooding. The incident period runs from April 22 to May 16, 2013.

Last week, the delegation wrote to President Barack Obama to press for approval of the state’s request: “the combination of a heavy snowpack, very late snowmelt and other factors led to overflowing rivers and extensive overland flooding,” they wrote. “The impacts from these floods have grown beyond the capability of the state and local jurisdictions to respond and we hope you will approve this declaration as soon as possible to ensure necessary resources are available for flood recovery.”

Approved for Public Assistance are Benson, Bottineau, Cass, Cavalier, Eddy, Foster, McHenry, Pembina, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, Rolette, Towner, Traill, Walsh, and Wells Counties and the Spirit Lake Reservation. Public assistance provides aid for emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and other infrastructure.

In addition, all counties and Indian Tribes in the state of North Dakota are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps with actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

“Approving this request will give these communities an opportunity to start the work of recovery,” the delegation said. “It will also give them an early start on efforts to mitigate against future flooding risks.”

On March 29, 2013, the State of North Dakota declared a flood emergency for counties and Tribal Nations that had a 50 percent probability of reaching or exceeding moderate or major flood stage as well as for the Devils Lake Basin. On April 23, 2013 the governor requested an emergency declaration based on extensive flood threats, which the president approved on April 26. After a Preliminary Damage Assessment, on May 20, 2013, the State of North Dakota changed its emergency declaration to a disaster declaration.