N.D. governor to seek disaster declaration
BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple plans to request federal assistance for areas of southwestern and south-central North Dakota hit hard by an early winter storm that dumped more than 20 inches of snow in some areas, knocking out power to thousands and killing livestock.
Dalrymple will submit his request for a presidential disaster declaration within the next few days, spokeswoman Amanda Godfread said.
The state must show at least $1 million in damage from the Oct. 4-5 storm to be eligible for federal assistance, she said.
Dalrymple has directed the state Department of Emergency Services to conduct an initial damage assessment with local officials in Adams, Grant and Morton counties, and more counties may be added as assessments continue, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The storm caused extensive damage to roads and rural electric infrastructure, with nearly 8,000 customers or meters experiencing power outages, some for days, as utility crews fought snow and then muddy conditions, the release stated.
About 120 remained without power Thursday. It’s expected to be restored by the weekend.
Earlier this week, Dalrymple issued a winter storm emergency declaration that allows state agencies to help local governments with recovery. He’ll be meeting with rural electric cooperative managers and city and county leaders to discuss details of the recovery efforts, the release stated.
Dalrymple also is encouraging ranchers to be in contact with the federal Farm Service Agency regarding the loss of livestock now that the federal government shutdown has ended.