Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer today called on President Barack Obama to approve the State of North Dakota's request for an emergency declaration to enhance the state's preparations for possible spring flooding.
The delegation made the request today in a letter sent to President Obama, supporting the formal request Gov. Jack Dalrymple submitted this week asking that an emergency declaration be issued for North Dakota under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The declaration, if approved, would make federal resources available to help local and state response efforts.
"Higher than average snowfall, along with a late start to the spring snowmelt, has led to the potential for flooding in 14 North Dakota counties and the Spirit Lake Reservation. Local governments and the State of North Dakota have already issued emergency declarations and started preparation efforts, including construction of emergency dikes as well as sandbagging efforts," the delegation wrote.
"While the State of North Dakota and our local governments, with the assistance of FEMA, have invested in flood mitigation efforts, repetitive flooding in the Devils Lake, Red River of the North, and Souris River Basins have reduced financial reserves at the city, county and tribal government level. To ensure that we are able to meet the challenges of protecting our people and preventing a larger disaster, we ask for your prompt attention to this request."
Hoeven, Heitkamp and Cramer have been working with local, state and federal officials to monitor water levels and ensure that appropriate resources will be made available in the event of spring flooding.