The Red River Flood Fight: Visiting the Team in Action

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Yesterday I concluded a three-day visit to North Dakota to get an up close look at the flood fighting efforts going on in the Red River Valley. This was my fourth trip to the state this year, and I continue to be impressed by the spirit and resilience of these communities.


FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan in rain gear thanks North Dakota National Guard members wearing uniforms for all their hard work. She's shaking their hands
Fargo, ND, April 10, 2011 -- FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan thanks North Dakota National Guard members for all their hard work. Photo: Micahel Rieger/FEMA

 

While meeting with state and local leaders and first responders, I saw firsthand the can-do spirit of the residents and local leaders that has been so critical as they fight these floods year after year. The entire community is involved and it is truly inspiring.

TV camera in foreground. FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan and North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple stand at podium and talk with members of the Media about the flooding Cass County which is seeing historical flood levels.
Fargo, ND, April 11, 2011 -- FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan and North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple talk with members of the Media about the flooding Cass County which is seeing historical flood levels. Photo: Micahel Rieger/FEMA
At FEMA, we also are proud to be part of that community flood fighting effort. An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) from our region is currently deployed to North Dakota and a Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) vehicle is in Fargo-Moorhead to coordinate federal response assets. Numerous federal agencies are involved in functions ranging from search and rescue operations to law enforcement to interoperable communications. Based on state requests, FEMA directs federal agencies to provide the needed assistance.

This coordination hasn’t just happened over night. Since last spring, we have been working with states and tribal nations across our region to plan and prepare for this spring’s flooding, but as we often say at FEMA, we can only be as prepared as the public is prepared, and the people of North Dakota have once again stepped up in a truly dramatic fashion.

When I was up in North Dakota, I also was privileged to see the dramatic difference that mitigation efforts made in the City of Grand Forks. The community was devastated by the Red River floods of 1997, but through investment, community involvement, and planning, along with a combined federal, state and local partnership, the community rebuilt both a better and a safer community. It’s a shining example of what we can do when we bring all our resources together for a common goal.

The Red River flood fight will most likely continue for weeks, but this is a challenge that the people of the Red River Valley are ready to meet.

Last Updated: 
06/17/2012 - 11:30
Posted on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 17:46
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john Reid:

I'm working to determine pre-selected sites fo...

I'm working to determine pre-selected sites for Federal Medical Stations in Oregon. Do you have any tips from North Dakota that would be considered best practices? Jreid11@me.com
Anonymous:

It's great to show up to a disaster! GOOD PR!...

It's great to show up to a disaster! GOOD PR! How about actually helping like an Individual Assistance Declaration!
Anonymous:

How long it will take to declare for individual as...

How long it will take to declare for individual assistance. Have been under severe flood disaster in other states, and not declare as individual assistance.

Great question - check out http://go.usa.gov/4bM f...

Great question - check out http://go.usa.gov/4bM for a rundown of how the disaster declaration process works during spring flooding season. At this time (April 22), FEMA has not received a request for individual assistance from a Governor of an affected state. If you have sustained damages from flooding, we urge you to contact your county emergency management office to be sure they are aware of the damages in your area.<br /><br />We’ve taken several steps to support disaster survivors and our state/local partners in the Red River Valley flood fight – check the “Floods” category of the blog for the latest: http://go.usa.gov/TFf.

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