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Forum News Service, Published October 23 2013

North Dakota seeks aid in response to fall storm

BISMARCK – Some local governments and rural electric cooperatives could receive federal aid before the end of the month in response to the intense autumn blizzard that slammed parts of southern North Dakota.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said he has sent a letter to President Barack Obama in request of a federal disaster declaration for the seven counties hardest hit by the storm, which dumped more than 2 feet of snow in some areas during the first week of October, according to a release Wednesday.

The announcement came on the heels of a meeting Wednesday in Mandan attended by Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., state rural electric cooperative representatives, local government officials and members of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

The request was made for Adams, Bowman, Grant, Hettinger, Morton, Sioux and Slope counties in southwest and south-central North Dakota, which, according to the release, sustained close to $8 million in estimated damage to power utilities and public infrastructure.

Greg Wilz, deputy director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, said relief funds, which would be distributed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, could be approved by the president in the next seven to 10 days.