Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order declaring a statewide flood emergency on Monday, Oct. 21. The declaration will allow North Dakotans to request federal assistance who are dealing with significant flood impacts caused by heavy rain and an October blizzard.
The declaration came as Burgum, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and other state officials prepared to attend meetings throughout the state with local officials and community members especially impacted by flooding, including Fargo, Grand Forks, Fessenden and Jamestown. According to the governor's office, the goal of the meetings is to hear firsthand accounts of damage caused by the high precipitation as well as gather information for possible requests for a USDA secretarial disaster designation and a presidential disaster declaration.
Eight counties and four cities in North Dakota have issued flood emergency declarations thus far, with more expected to come. Counties include Barnes, Cavalier, Grand Forks, LaMoure, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh and Wells. Cities include Grand Forks, Jamestown, LaMoure and Valley City.
According to the governor's office, a USDA secretarial disaster designation would unlock financial assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Plus Program, or WHIP+. Payments from the program take into account a producer’s crop insurance coverage and the size of the loss. A presidential disaster declaration would include public assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged road infrastructure.