Fact Sheet: Federal Agency Assistance to the Souris Valley

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Release date: 
June 11, 2012
Release Number: 


Immediately following the June 2011 flooding in the Souris River Basin, federal agencies, under mission assignments from FEMA, responded to public health and safety needs throughout Ward County.  Federal life-saving and life-sustaining personnel worked under the direction, and at the request of, state and local leadership.  Below is a summary of the federal actions funded by FEMA and the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services to ensure communities and people in the area were protected from further harm and could begin their recovery.

In all, FEMA directed 28 federal response assignments at a cost of more than $60 million dollars to FEMA and almost $7 million to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

In addition, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program paid out on 488 claims for a total of $59,331,403.36 in McHenry, Reville and Ward counties.

Department of Health and Human Services

Members of Applied Public Health Teams from the Department of Health and Human Services integrated with local fire department, local health agencies, and structural engineers/building inspectors to assist with public health consultations and inspection of homes for reoccupation.

The teams visited approximately 4,600 homes damaged by the flood, meeting with residents as they returned home and providing environmental health consultations and technical assistance. They distributed post-flood information packets from the North Dakota Department of Health, and gave information on general clean-up activities, pumping out flooded basements, mold issues, household hazardous waste disposal, disinfection, asbestos, the safe use of electrical generators and personal health precautions. They also went door-to-door with structural engineers and building inspectors to assess health concerns such as contamination from wastewater, extent of mold coverage, asbestos, and other hazardous material risks. This mission was assigned by FEMA and cost $100,000, with 10 percent paid by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA was given four missions by FEMA: remove household hazardous wastes from the impacted area; decontaminate and prepare white goods and electronic waste for recycling; collect and process orphaned containers; and conduct environmental monitoring and sampling in impacted and work areas.

In total, EPA removed:

  • Nearly 6,000 units of white goods – air conditioners, refrigerators, and other household appliances. Freon, mercury, and other hazardous materials were removed by EPA and the scrap was turned over to the city of Minot for recycling.
  • More than 90,000 small containers, including paint, household cleaners, and small gas cans holding more than 15,000 gallons of gas which was sent to a fuel processor.
  • Several large containers, including propane tanks as large as 3,000 – 5,000 gallons, which were returned to their owners or sent to a Minot company for reuse.
  • 215 lead-acid batteries which were turned over to the city of Minot.
  • More than 550 cubic yards of electronic waste such as household electronics, computers, and television sets which were sent to a contractor for recycling.

In addition, EPA collected asbestos insulation from more than 220 households, conducted air sampling during cleanup activities, and conducted soil sampling in city parks once flooding subsided. This mission was assigned by FEMA and cost $5.2 million, with 10 percent paid by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

General Services Administration

GSA was given the mission to search for space, facilities and land to support FEMA. GSA also provided approxima...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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