ND Delegation Calls On FEMA to Reconsider Individual Assistance DecisionSenators John Hoeven, Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg Friday called on U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate to reconsider the agency's denial of Individual Assistance program service to residents of North Dakota affected by flooding this spring.
By: WDAZ Staff Report,
Senators John Hoeven, Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg Friday called on U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate to reconsider the agency's denial of Individual Assistance program service to residents of North Dakota affected by flooding this spring.
The delegation sent a letter to both officials Friday in support of Governor Jack Dalrymple's request for a reevaluation of the decision.
Officials say the damage and dislocation caused by the flooding has been extensive, including more than 800 homes in the Bismarck-Mandan area that had to be evacuated, several hundred structures damaged in Devils Lake, and 10,000 residents evacuated from Minot.
The delegation says many residents are having significant expenses while forced out of their homes by the high water.
"Thousands of residents are already displaced, and they have every expectation that they will continue to be throughout the summer. They need help as soon as possible," the delegation said in a written statement.
The Assistance program can provide help to flood-affected residents by helping pay for temporary housing, repairs to homes and funding toward replacement of a home that has been destroyed.
On Thursday, FEMA administrator Fugate notified Dalrymple that the agency had denied the request, saying "the damage to the residences from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to warrant the implementation of Individual Assistance..."
"The human impact of this year's flooding should be readily apparent to the agency's 95 FEMA representatives on the ground throughout the state," the delegation said in a joint statement. "We strongly encourage Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate to reevaluate this decision in light of additional evidence that the state will be providing and the visible hardship being endured by residents."