Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster aid has been made available for North Dakota to help families and communities recover from recent storms and flooding in the central and eastern parts of the state.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance this evening following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The President's major disaster declaration covers damage to private and public property from severe storms, flooding and ground saturation beginning June 12.
Immediately after the declaration, Witt designated the following areas eligible for federal funding to supplement the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners: the counties of Benson, Bottineau, Cass, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Kidder, McHenry, McLean, Nelson, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Sheridan, Traill, Walsh and Wells, and the Spirit Lake Tribal Reservation and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Reservation.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster?related expenses. Low?interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for restoring damaged public facilities in the two designated Indian reservations and the counties of Bottineau, Cass, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Kidder, McHenry, McLean, Nelson, Pierce, Ransom, Sheridan, Traill, Walsh and Wells. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt indicated that damage surveys are continuing and additional designations may be made later based on the assessments. He named Steven R. Emory of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Emory said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties and reservations can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Wednesday, June 28, from 8 AM to 6 PM seven days a week until further notice.