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Forum staff reports, Published July 12 2013

Obama signs North Dakota disaster declaration

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for 19 North Dakota counties and two Indian reservations due to spring flooding.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple requested the declaration after heavy rains caused major flooding in May and June.

The declaration includes: Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, Dunn, Kidder, McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Sheridan, Stark, Towner, Walsh, Ward and Wells counties and the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian Reservation.

The declaration means emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and other infrastructure can be funded with federal help.

The counties and tribes are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps with plans to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

Many areas of the state received record rainfall between May 17 and June 16, which caused major flooding and an estimated

$7 million in damages to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.

Drainage areas, rivers and tributaries, already full with spring flood waters, quickly overflowed and caused widespread overland flooding. Flooding led to evacuations, placed 12 dams in northeast North Dakota at risk and caused major property damage.