Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has ordered the release of federal disaster funds to help communities in eastern and central North Dakota recover from damage caused by floods and other extreme weather conditions that have plagued the state since early March.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major declaration issued by the President following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms, flooding and heavy ground saturation beginning March 1.
Under the declaration, the state and affected local governments are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
The jurisdictions designated by Allbaugh for the assistance include the counties of Barnes, Benson, Bottineau, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Kidder, McHenry, McLean, Nelson, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Rolette, Sheridan, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh and Wells, and the Indian reservations of the Spirit Lake Tribe and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
Allbaugh said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional jurisdictions and additional forms of assistance may be designated for aid later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Steven R. Emory of FEMA was named by Allbaugh to coordinate the federal relief effort. Emory said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.