Delegation Welcomes FEMA Decision to Issue Disaster Declaration Following Winter Storm

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer today welcomed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) approval of a federal disaster declaration to assist seven counties in southwestern and south central North Dakota to recover from a severe winter storm that struck earlier this month. The delegation urged presidential approval of the disaster declaration on Wednesday, Oct. 23, in a letter sent to President Obama.

“FEMA’s disaster declaration will provide much-needed assistance to the seven counties that have suffered significant damages during the severe winter storm that occurred earlier this month,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “These funds will prove especially impactful for our state’s rural cooperatives that incurred considerable costs trying to restore power and repair infrastructure damage caused by the storm.”

FEMA approved disaster assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities in Adams, Bowman, Grant, Hettinger, Morton, Sioux and Slope counties.

The Oct. 4 and 5 severe storm brought heavy rain and blizzard conditions to southwestern and south central North Dakota. Nearly two feet of snow fell during the storm, causing extensive damage, including the loss of a significant number of cattle. The storm severely impacted the rural electric cooperatives in the region, including damage to substations and power lines. Roads in the region were also impacted due to the rapid snow melt runoff and damage caused by heavy equipment used to restore power to the more than 9,800 customer who lost power.

The Preliminary Damage Assessment found that the region suffered nearly $8 million in damages, much of which was sustained by the rural electric cooperatives.