Washington, D. C. -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for North Dakota to help communities recover from the effects of a lengthy bout of extreme weather that began in early June, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred over the period of June 8 through August 11.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said the state and affected local governments in the counties of Grand Forks, Pembina, Stutsman, Traill and Walsh, and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation 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 the restoration of damaged public facilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh, who designated the jurisdictions eligible for the aid after the declaration, indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Steven R. Emory of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Emory said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.