BISMARCK, N.D. (JULY 5, 2023) – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced that President Joe Biden has approved the governor’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration for spring flooding estimated to have caused more than $5 million in damage to North Dakota roads and other public infrastructure. The request followed an executive order Burgum issued April 10 declaring a statewide flood emergency.
The disaster declaration covers 21 counties: Barnes, Burke, Dickey, Dunn, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Hettinger, LaMoure, McHenry, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Towner, Walsh and Wells. A copy of Burgum’s June 2 letter to President Biden through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting a major disaster for the period of April 10 to May 6 is available here.
The 21 counties covered by the declaration reported about $4.1 million in flood-related damage. Total damage estimates exceeded $5 million, but several counties didn’t meet the per-capita damage threshold to be included in the disaster request.
“After a record-breaking winter, spring flooding put further stress on the budgets, personnel and operations of local entities, and this major disaster declaration will provide those impacted with much-needed relief,” Burgum said. “We appreciate President Biden and FEMA granting our request for public assistance and are grateful for all of the local, state and federal agencies that contributed to the spring flood fight, as well as our congressional delegation for supporting the disaster declaration request.”
In the request, Burgum noted that seasonal snowfall records were broken in 58 locations in North Dakota, with Dickinson breaking its all-time record and Bismarck and Grand Forks experiencing their second snowiest winters on record. The statewide snowfall average fell just 0.4 inches short of the all-time record, producing flooding that caused significant damage to roads, culverts and other infrastructure in North Dakota counties – many of which were still recovering from the spring 2022 winter storm and flooding that cost nearly $97 million in damage and was the fifth-largest disaster since 1997.
A presidential declaration unlocks FEMA public assistance to help cities, counties and townships pay for the costs of repairing roads and other infrastructure damaged by flooding. In addition, the president also granted Burgum’s request that the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program be implemented on a statewide basis to help communities pay for flood mitigation projects that increase resiliency and reduce costs in the long run.