Bismarck, ND -- Because of the significant severe storms that battered parts of North Dakota on Aug. 8 and 9, the federal disaster declaration in the state has been extended to include damage to public facilities caused by severe storms and flooding through Aug. 9, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
"North Dakota has endured repeated severe storms," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh. "This extension will ensure that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible, helping the state achieve a full and lasting recovery."
Federal disaster funds have been made available for 36 North Dakota counties and two Indian reservations to help local and tribal governments rebuild public property damaged by the recent storms and high groundwater problems in North Dakota. With the extension, local governments in all of the declared counties and reservations may be eligible for assistance for damages sustained between March 1 and Aug. 9, 2001.
Allbaugh said the extension was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials after the recent storms.
Affected local governments in the counties are eligible to apply for federal funds 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 initial implementation of local and state emergency operations plans helped the affected communities restore primary services, with public safety the first concern," said North Dakota Governor John Hoeven. "Then, our local, state and federal disaster recovery workers moved quickly to gather the necessary damage information. Those efforts will help communities damaged by the recent storms recover more quickly."
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on May 28 and made available through FEMA's Public Assistance program for state and local governments.