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North Dakota governor requests presidential disaster declaration for spring storms, flooding

"If granted, a presidential declaration would unlock FEMA public assistance to help cities, counties and townships pay for the costs of repairing roads and other infrastructure," North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's office said in a statement.

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The National Guard used several 1-ton sandbags to stabilize the Bourbanis Dam when it was in danger of rupturing in the spring of 2022 in northeast North Dakota.
Photo contributed by Kyle Gagner
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BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum has asked for a presidential disaster declaration after spring storms and flooding caused more than $57 million in damage across North Dakota.

The request to President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency would cover 40 counties , including Adams, Barnes, Billings, Bottineau, Burke, Cavalier, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Foster, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Renville, Richland, Rolette, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward, Wells and Williams.

"If granted, a presidential declaration would unlock FEMA public assistance to help cities, counties and townships pay for the costs of repairing roads and other infrastructure," the governor's office said in a statement.

From April 22 to May 25, storms with wintry, mixed precipitation hit North Dakota and damaged roads, bridges, railways and flood control structures, Burgum wrote in a letter to the president.

One of the most serious incidents was at the Bourbanis Dam near Cavalier where state National Guard Black Hawk helicopters placed more than 200 one-ton sandbags to stabilize areas around the dam.

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Strong winds and ice buildup led to the collapse of 7,000 utility poles and damage to at least 550 miles of electric infrastructure that left households in western North Dakota without power for sometimes up to 3 1/2 weeks.

The storms included 30 inches of snow in some areas on April 12-14 and a record rainfall on April 29-30. It was the second wettest April on record in North Dakota.

The storms were followed by flooding in parts of the state.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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