North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven announced recently that federal funding to help repair or replace storm-damaged infrastructure is once again available to North Dakota communities in 26 counties and three tribal nations impacted by severe storms that occurred June 1 through July 7.
Federal funding designated for all disaster-declared states nationwide had been temporarily put on hold Aug. 30 by the federal government because of emergency funding needs for Hurricane Katrina. According to Hoeven, funds are again available now that more than $60 billion has been provided for disaster relief efforts in the Gulf Region. That action restored the flow of money into the federal Disaster Relief Fund, which is used to pay for eligible disaster costs.
“Since late July, federal funds have been allocated to disaster-impacted North Dakota communities, where we’ve sustained more than $13 million in damages,” Hoeven said. “With the reinstatement of the disaster relief funds, we can continue to help our communities recover from this summer’s severe weather and further enhance local infrastructure so that North Dakota is safer and more prepared for future weather-related disasters.”
Funding to help reimburse eligible local and state costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures was not affected by the temporary delay, according to federal officials.
“Fortunately, these funds were only on hold for a short time and moneys are flowing once again to the affected local communities as they continue to recover from the severe storms, flooding, and ground saturation that affected much of central and eastern North Dakota earlier this summer,” said Tom Bush, deputy federal coordinating officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In July, Hoeven requested a presidential disaster declaration, making state agencies, tribal governments, local jurisdictions and certain private, non-profit organizations in 20 North Dakota counties and on two Indian reservations eligible for federal assistance of up to 75 percent of approved costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the restoration of damage to roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities. The declaration was expanded in August to include six more counties and one reservation.
The jurisdictions eligible for state and federal funding include: Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, Dickey, Grand Forks, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, McHenry, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Pierce, Ransom, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, Rolette Sargent, Sioux, Stark, Steele, Towner, Traill, Walsh and Ward counties; the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation; Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; and a portion of the Standing Rock Reservation within North Dakota.
The state of North Dakota also is eligible statewide for mitigation funding on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risk.
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