BISMARCK, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong today urged President Trump to approve the State of North Dakota’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration due to fall flooding and the early snowstorm. In a letter to the Administration, the delegation wrote in support of the state’s request for a presidential declaration, which would make assistance available under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Thank you for your continued support of North Dakotans as the State has faced numerous weather-related disasters this year. We write in support of the State of North Dakota’s request for a presidential disaster declaration due to heavy rain and snowfall that occurred in the fall and created extensive flooding in central and eastern North Dakota,” the delegation wrote.
Earlier this fall, the delegation helped secure a secretarial disaster designation from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for 47 North Dakota counties. This designation made producers in this counties automatically eligible for disaster assistance under USDA’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your continued support of North Dakotans as the State has faced numerous weather-related disasters this year. We write in support of the State of North Dakota’s request for a presidential disaster declaration due to heavy rain and snowfall that occurred in the fall and created extensive flooding in central and eastern North Dakota. Thank you for your consideration.
As the result of significant fall flooding, on October 11, 2019, and October 21, 2019, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum took steps to activate the North Dakota State Emergency Operations Plan and declare a statewide emergency. As you are likely aware, on November 8, 2019, Secretary Perdue approved the State’s request for a secretarial disaster designation for 47 counties in North Dakota. As the State continues to deal with the ramifications of the fall flooding, the State is now requesting a presidential disaster declaration for the period from October 9, 2019 to October 26, 2019 for the counties of Barnes, Foster, Griggs, Grand Forks, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, Mountrail, Nelson, Sargent, Sheridan, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh, and Wells.
The October flooding resulted in the accumulation of three inches of water content equivalent and has greatly impacted the agriculture industry and infrastructure, creating substantial economic impacts. The historic high groundwater saturation culminating with the rapid snowmelt created unprecedented flooding in central and eastern North Dakota. The agriculture industry has experienced a significant decrease in yields and total crop losses because the wet weather caused disease and created an inability to harvest remaining cereal grains, soybeans, wheat, barley, potatoes, and sugar beets. Further, North Dakota producers were unable to easily access their fields due to the high flooding, and were therefore forced to drive miles out of their way to get to their fields. North Dakotans were stranded as floodwaters washed surface gravel and culverts from county and township roads. School bus transportation and vital first responder services became inaccessible or unreliable due to unsafe roadway conditions. The total impact to North Dakota’s infrastructure due to the October flooding has reached over nine million dollars in damage.
We urge you to approve a presidential disaster declaration as soon as possible so that the necessary federal resources are available to help and assist our state. Thank you for your prompt attention to this request, and please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide any additional information.
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