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Burgum requests presidential disaster declaration for flooding

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, center, surveys flooding in western McKenzie County with its Commission Chairman Tom McCabe and its Emergency Manager Karolin Jappe. Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Doug Burgum

BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum requested a presidential major disaster declaration to free up federal money to address spring flooding in almost 20 counties, his office said Friday, May 24.

The request to President Donald Trump seeks a declaration for March 21 to April 29 for the counties of Adams, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Emmons, Grand Forks, Grant, Hettinger, LaMoure, Logan, McKenzie, Morton, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Traill and Walsh.

The governor's office highlighted an unusual flood in McKenzie County, which forced evacuations and destroyed or heavily damaged at least 20 homes.

The state's assessment of the damages could be as high as $10.5 million. Federal officials will do a review in conjunction with the state and determine if the request should be granted, a Burgum spokesman said.

Cass County sustained the most estimated damage at nearly $2 million, followed by Walsh and Grand Forks counties at nearly $1.7 million and $1.6 million, respectively.

Burgum also requested that North Dakota be eligible for federal grants to help local governments and certain nonprofits in flood recovery efforts, and that the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program be implemented statewide to reduce risk of future flooding.

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