Gov. Doug Burgum has declared a statewide emergency for flooding and widespread utility infrastructure damage caused by the weekend storm that left thousands of North Dakotans without power, and a disaster for areas impacted during the historic blizzard from April 12-14 based on local costs incurred for snow removal.

In a press release, Burgum said he plans to request presidential disaster declarations to unlock federal assistance to help pay for snow removal and infrastructure repairs, including thousands of downed utility poles that must be replaced.

April 12-14 blizzard

The disaster declaration for the blizzard covers 16 counties (Billings, Bottineau, Dunn, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Oliver, Renville, Sheridan, Stark and Ward) and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

April 22-24 storms

The emergency declaration for the spring storm covers freezing rain that coated power lines and poles with ice, snapping many in western North Dakota. As the rain turned to snow, blizzard conditions made roads impassable and prevented crews from reaching areas to restore power.

In eastern North Dakota, heavy rains and snowmelt swelled creeks and rivers within the Sheyenne and Red River basins and swamped fields and ditches.

Agencies responding

State agencies have been supporting local and tribal jurisdictions throughout the recent storms by identifying needs and assisting with resource coordination.

The North Dakota Department of Health provided generators and a portable freezer to Divide County to heat an ambulance bay and save frozen goods from spoiling. The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services delivered heater meals to support shelter operations in Williams County, while the North Dakota Department of Human Services has been working with North Dakota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and community partners to coordinate additional support if needed.

In the east, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was requested to provide technical assistance with flood levee construction in Valley City. The North Dakota Department of Water Resources, with Emergency Services, continues to monitor flood threats throughout the state and identify areas of concern.

Throughout these storms, the North Dakota Department of Transportation has been opening roads while also clearing pathways for law enforcement and medical workers and power crews needing to access downed power lines. The North Dakota Highway Patrol has investigated dozens of crashes, responded to hundreds of calls for service and assisted with road closures.

In addition to an emergency shelter in Williston, shelter locations are being identified in the northwest region of the state. Residents are asked to contact local officials if they need access to shelter facilities.