Hoeven Works on Missouri River Flood Recovery

BISMARCK, N.D. - Senator John Hoeven worked with mayors and county commissioners in Bismarck, Mandan, Burleigh and Morton County today to address outstanding issues relating to the flood response effort and begin developing a strategy for recovery for the region, which has been severely impacted by three months of severe Missouri River flooding.

Hoeven met with a broad group of local, state and federal officials including Rep. Rick Berg, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Maj. Gen. Dave Sprynczynatyk, Bismarck Mayor John Warford, Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling, State Engineer Todd Sando and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“This has been an ongoing challenge,” Hoeven said. “As water levels recede over the next month, we need to continue to do all we can to help people get their lives back as close to normal as possible. Our window of opportunity is short before winter sets in, so we want to make sure leaders and resources at all levels are well coordinated and mobilized to recover and position the community strategically for next spring as well.”

Officials also addressed issues concerning removal or enhancement of existing dikes and long-term management of the Missouri River System. Today’s meeting follows a letter from Hoeven and the Missouri River Working Group sent Friday calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to apply lessons from this year’s flooding as it prepares next year’s operating plan for the Missouri River. The seven-state Missouri River Working Group is a bipartisan, cooperative coalition of lawmakers organized last month by Sens. Hoeven, Conrad, Blunt and McCaskill to improve flood control along the Missouri River and address flood impacts on local communities. 

Hoeven also encouraged individuals and businesses to submit their applications for disaster assistance by the Aug. 23 deadline. This includes both FEMA individual assistance and SBA business and individual loans for homes and businesses. Individuals and businesses in Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, McHenry, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, and Ward counties and the Spirit Lake Nation may apply. 

“We know it’s challenging for people to complete applications for recovery assistance before they know the full extent of the damages. Folks should be assured there will be time to update their applications as necessary, but enrolling before the deadline is urgent,” Hoeven said. 

Federal and state disaster assistance so far for this year’s flooding in North Dakota has surpassed $175 million.  This includes:

  • $88.9 million to-date in low-interest SBA disaster loans to residents and businesses.
  • More than $83 million for temporary housing and essential home repairs.
  • Nearly $1.5 million for serious disaster-related needs such as personal property losses, and medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. 
  • And funding for 108 approved public infrastructure projects totaling $1.4 million.

Additional information about SBA loans is available through SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov. Hearing-impaired individuals may call TTY (800) 877-8339. Applicants may also apply for SBA loans online at SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Hoeven will tour flooded areas in Bismarck, Mandan, Burleigh and Morton Counties as well as Minot tomorrow with Sen. Kent Conrad.