Sunday, May 29, 2011

Expanded Missouri River Flooding

Emergency Declaration in North Dakota Expanded to Address Missouri River Flooding

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Saturday that seven additional counties in North Dakota and an Indian reservation have been added to the state's Federal Emergency Declaration, expanding the total counties included to 21 and reservations to two. The declaration was originally issued on Apr. 7 by President Obama to provide disaster aid in response to Missouri River flooding two days earlier. Ten federal disasters have been declared in the state in the past five years.
The included areas in the emergency declaration are Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, Cass, Emmons, Eddy, Grand Forks, Mercer, McLean, Morton, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Sioux, Towner, Traill, Walsh and Ward Counties and the reservations of the Spirit Lake Nation and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Funding will go towards emergency relief, search and rescue operations, rebuilding and repair of buildings damaged in the flood.
Federal Disaster Declared in Wake of Winter Storms
North Dakota endured two severe winter storms in 2010 that triggered the president to declare affected areas federal disaster areas. Five days of ice storms in January devastated 25 counties and one Indian reservation. Extensive damage was sustained to the State Rural Electric Cooperative power grid, leaving many without power.
In early April, another snowstorm struck 12 counties and an Indian reservation. Several electrical cooperatives were impacted, leaving thousands of residents without electricity, reported the Minot Daily News. Preliminary damages were assessed by FEMA at approximately $33 million.
2009 Red River Flood
Spring flooding in 2009 along the Red River caused more than 40 counties in North Dakota to be declared Federal Disaster Areas. According to FEMA, the recovery efforts totaled more than $150 million in grants and loans from state and federal assistance programs. The largest expenditure, totaling $80,573,727, went towards debris cleanup, emergency relief and fixing damage to public buildings. More than $35 million was paid to responding federal agencies, such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard.
Monies were paid out in disaster unemployment assistance, individual and household assistance to affected citizens. More than $18 million was put towards Small Business Administration (SBA) federal disaster loans to businesses, nonprofits, homeowners and renters.
2007 Flooding and Tornado Disasters
On Aug. 26, 2007, several tornadoes struck the northern Red River Basin area, including an EF4 in Northwood, Grand Forks County, N.D. Of the town's 460 homes, 90 percent were damaged and one man died. Railroad cars were tipped over and the roofs had been ripped off of grain elevators. The area was declared a federal disaster and damages were assessed at $50 million.
By October of that year, FEMA and the SBA had provided nearly $2.4 million in relief assistance to 282 disaster applicants.
In July 2007, eleven counties were declared disaster areas due to flooding and severe storm damage occurring June 2 to June 18.

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