A summary of significant items and issues related to the FEMA/State recovery efforts following the May 5, 2004, major disaster declaration for flooding and severe storms:
- Sixteen North Dakota counties and the Spirit Lake Nation are included as part of the presidential disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding for the period March 26 through June 14. Damages to public infrastructure or emergency protective measures taken to respond to the storms must have occurred within this “incident period” to be eligible for federal reimbursement.
- Counties included as part of the disaster declaration are Benson, Bottineau, Burke, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Griggs, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Renville, Steele, Towner, Traill, Walsh and Ward.
- To date, $430,000 in disaster Public Assistance has been obligated to 14 applicants for infrastructure repair and emergency protective measures. The federal share of $344,000 represents 75 percent of total assistance, with the remaining 25 percent coming from state and local governments.
- State teams have completed more than 20 percent of project worksheets associated with the disaster.
- More than 90 percent of project worksheets related to reimbursement for damages to Rural Electrical Associations also have been completed.
- North Dakota Emergency Management has requested a state-federal-local Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) for McHenry and Pierce Counties due to infrastructure damages relating to storms within the incident period to determine if damages are sufficient to designate these counties eligible for federal assistance under the current declaration. The PDAs are expected to be completed Friday, June 25.
- The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Tribe also requested a PDA scheduled to begin Monday, June 28. The Spirit Lake Nation was included under the original disaster declaration.
- Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program applicant briefings for Bottineau, Burke, Mountrail, Renville, Towner and Ward Counties were held Friday, June 18, at the Bottineau County Courthouse in Bottineau.
- Hazard Mitigation specialists have surveyed floodplain managers, county emergency managers and county commissioners in declared counties to determine if there are remaining issues concerning the National Flood Insurance Program, or with local floodplain management.
- A FEMA/State Disaster Field Office (DFO) was established May 7 in Bismarck at the Halkirk Building, 1605 East Capitol Avenue, to serve as an administrative office and processing center for recovery operations. There are currently 45 federal, state and contract employees based at the Bismarck DFO.
- On March 29, 2004, Governor John Hoeven issued a flood emergency declaration for 10 North Dakota counties and the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. The declaration was upgraded to a disaster declaration on April 20, 2004 when Governor Hoeven requested President Bush issue a Major Presidential Disaster Declaration for North Dakota. Six northern counties were added on to the original declaration on June 9.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.