BISMARCK, N.D. (Aug. 17, 2017) – Gov. Doug Burgum today declared a severe summer storm disaster for Bowman, Dunn and Slope counties and asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for additional time to request a major disaster declaration.
On July 20 and 21, a series of severe thunderstorms in western North Dakota produced large hail and gusty winds of up to 73 mph, toppling power lines, causing significant damage to farm and ranch buildings, endangering livestock and damaging or destroying equipment.
The storm also caused substantial damage for member-owned rural electric cooperatives and compounded problems for farmers and ranchers in Bowman, Dunn and Slope counties, who are expected to suffer major losses because of extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Lightning storms also sparked a series of wildland fires, putting additional stress on volunteer firefighters.
An executive order signed by Burgum today declares a severe summer storm disaster for the three counties and directs state officials to coordinate with federal agencies to make recovery programs available.
Burgum also sent a letter asking FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Nancy Dragani for an extension until Aug. 28 to submit the request for a major disaster declaration, noting preliminary damage assessments are targeted for completion by Aug. 23.
On Aug. 8, the governor made a separate request for a presidential major disaster declaration for drought. That request is still pending.