Dalrymple, Napolitano tour Minot-area flood damage

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Governor Jack Dalrymple on Wednesday pressed U.S Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano for a commitment to provide a 90-percent federal funding match to help pay the high costs of North Dakota flood damages and flood mitigation efforts. Dalrymple also asked Napolitano to provide federal assistance for homeowners and business owners who lose their homes to flooding and are forced to demolish the structures.

 “The costs of major flooding in Ward County and in other areas of the state continue to mount and disasters of this magnitude require a major commitment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help in the recovery,” Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, Burlington Mayor and Ward County Chairman Jerome Gruenberg and other, state and local officials led Napolitano today on a helicopter tour of the Minot-area so that she could see firsthand the region’s flood damages and the need for major federal assistance.

Dalrymple and federal, state and local officials, including Zimbelman, Gruenberg and Sawyer City Council Member Cody Roteliuk, also met with Napolitano at Minot City Hall after the aerial tour to discuss the need for federal flood recovery assistance. During the meeting, Dalrymple said flood damages will far exceed a FEMA threshold of $110 million which can trigger a federal commitment to cover 90 percent of all flood mitigation costs.

“It was important for Secretary Napolitano to see for herself how severe the flooding is along the Mouse and Des Lacs rivers,” Dalrymple said. “I have stressed that because of the extent of flooding throughout the state we will need the Federal Emergency Management Agency to commit to paying 90 percent of flood mitigation costs as they have for other flood disasters.”

About 11,000 Minot residents have been displaced by unprecedented flooding along the Mouse River.  The flooding has damaged an estimated 4,100 homes and businesses and the majority of those structures remain inundated.  Major flooding also has caused extensive damage to property along the Missouri River where about 900 residences have been evacuated. In the Devils Lake Basin, hundreds of structures are flooded and an estimated 30,000 additional acres of farmland have been swallowed up by the rising lake since this spring.

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