Delegation Presses President to Approve North Dakota Governor's Disaster Declaration Request

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, and Representative Kevin Cramer today pressed President Barack Obama to approve Governor Jack Dalrymple request for a major disaster declaration for 16 counties and the Spirit Lake Nation due to spring flooding.

“The combination of a heavy snowpack, very late snowmelt and other factors led to overflowing rivers and extensive overland flooding,” the delegation wrote. “Rapidly rising temperatures accelerated the pace of the late snowmelt, which overwhelmed major rivers and their tributaries across the state.

“As a result, cities and counties invested in emergency protective measures, including earthen levees and sandbag dikes, but damages were still sustained to area roadways and other infrastructure. 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.”

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.