Fema rejects individual assistance for ND flood victims

Governor Jack Dalrymple received word yesterday from Craig Fugate, Administer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that the state’s application for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program has been denied.

Dalrymple has drafted a response and has left messages with Fugate, expressing his dismay that FEMA would conclude major flooding in North Dakota has not caused significant damage to warrant federal assistance to homeowners and businesses.

Fugate’s letter, which was received late Thursday, stated that “the damage to the residences from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to warrant the implementation of Individual Assistance…”

“I find it hard to believe that FEMA does not see the destructive effects of flooding on citizens in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “The damages to homes and businesses throughout the state are obvious.

“Our understanding from regional FEMA representatives is that North Dakota’s application for Individual Assistance was considered well-prepared and that damages are well documented,” he said.

Dalrymple’s letter to Fugate and Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, includes references to more than 800 homes in the Bismarck-Mandan area that have been evacuated due to severe flooding. The letter also makes reference to several hundred additional structures in the Devils Lake region that have been damaged by floodwaters; and that the city of Minot evacuated 10,000 residents to protect them from flooding along the Souris River.

“There is a reason why there currently are 95 FEMA personnel in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “Any person who is paying any attention whatsoever can easily see the tremendous damages to property across the state. Many people who have left their homes cannot wait for assistance with living expenses.”

Dalrymple has asked Fugate and Secretary Napolitano to reconsider the state’s request for Individual Assistance and he has asked the state Department of Emergency Services to seek an explanation from FEMA’s regional office.

Together, the various services under the individual assistance program can help people pay for temporary housing, repairs to their homes, and funding toward replacement of a home that has been totally destroyed. It also includes “Other Needs Assistance,” which may cover medical, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses associated with personal loss due to flooding.  People who have lost their jobs or are unable to reach their place of work may also be eligible for assistance.

Source: office of Governor Dalrymple