DENVER -- FEMA Region VIII Administrator Robin Finegan has concluded a three-day visit to North Dakota to get an up close look at the heroic flood fight efforts going on across the state. It was Finegan’s fourth trip to the state this year, as FEMA has been closely engaged with state and local agencies in the planning stages for the anticipated spring flooding.
“Communities across North Dakota should be proud of their response to yet another round of spring flooding,” said Finegan. “While meeting with state and local leaders and first responders, I’ve gotten to see firsthand the can-do spirit of residents and local leaders and the resiliency that has allowed them to fight the last three years. The entire community is involved and it’s a powerful thing.”
In addition to the role FEMA played in the planning stages of the event, the agency is currently coordinating federal assets involved in the response efforts. Numerous federal agencies are involved in functions ranging from search and rescue operations to law enforcement to interoperable communications. Based on state requests, FEMA directs federal agencies to provide the needed assistance.
“The federal state partnership has just been outstanding,” said Finegan. “Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn has been working closely with the state to ensure that all response needs are being met. He and the full federal team will be here to support the state for as long as needed.”
In addition to seeing the flood fight, the visit also included a tour of Grand Forks, including the mitigation efforts undertaken in that community since the devastating 1997 Red River Flood. Grand Forks is facing an upcoming Red River crest that is predicted to be second only to 1997.
“Grand Forks is an amazing success story and an inspiration for all communities that are impacted by disasters,” said Finegan. “The combined federal, state and local partnership that helped the community rebuild both better and safer is a shining example of what we can do when we bring all our resources together for a common goal.”
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.