Hoeven: FEMA Agrees to Work with Stutsman County on Permanent Fixes for Inundated Roads

Last Week, Senator Joined NDDES, Local Officials in Outlining Need for Flexibility in FEMA Policy

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to allow the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) and local officials in Stutsman County to permanently fix roadways inundated with floodwater in the county utilizing FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) grant program. Due to guidance under the PA program, the state’s efforts to secure funding to repair inundated roads and permanently increase road grades has been hindered. The policy requires burdensome and costly additional steps, including the construction and subsequent removal of emergency access for impacted roads, in order for repairs to be eligible.

Last week Hoeven, along with Senator Kevin Cramer and local officials, including North Dakota legislators Senator Terry Wanzek and Representative Craig Headland and NDDES officials, made the case to FEMA officials to allow a permanent fix for inundated roads to repair the damage and prevent future flooding, which has impacted communities around the state, including emergency services for Peterson Township in Stutsman County. Hoeven, who serves as a member of the Appropriations Committee responsible for overseeing FEMA’s budget, had previously raised the issue in a conversation with FEMA Deputy Regional Administrator Nancy Dragani and Recovery Division Director Ryan Pietramali. FEMA has agreed to address issues on a case-by-base basis, and Hoeven continues working to address the FEMA policy to ensure the PA program works for communities with similar issues across the state.

“We appreciate FEMA agreeing to work with Stutsman County to put in place a permanent solution addressing these inundated roads,” said Hoeven. “These roads are not only important economic connectors for rural residents, but also provide important access to emergency services. We’ve been pressing the agency on this issue and appreciate their willingness to address these issues on a case-by-case basis as they continue working to enact the necessary policy changes to remove unnecessarily burdensome requirements for communities to access this much-needed program.”

FEMA agreed to work with NDDES and Stutsman County to permanently fix inundated roads to enable better emergency service access for the Peterson Township. The agency is allowing the flexibility on a case-by-case basis as it works to address the current guidance.