Burgum Requests Federal Aid To Deal With Spring Storm Damage

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum is asking for some federal help in dealing with $57 million in public infrastructure damage caused by severe spring storms and flooding in North Dakota.

Burgum has requested a presidential disaster declaration that would provide federal aid to help repair roads, bridges and railways. The request involves 40 of the state's 53 counties.

“I have determined severe winter storm conditions and subsequent flooding were of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery are beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” Burgum said in his letter to President Joe Biden.

Historic spring snowstorms in western North Dakota and extensive flooding in the east broke precipitation records and knocked out power to more than 10,000 residents, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Burgum in April declared a statewide emergency and a statewide disaster, which is a necessary step to seeking a presidential declaration.

A three-day blizzard in mid-April dropped 2 feet (60.9 centimeters) to 3 feet (91.4 centimeters) of snow over a wide area. An Easter Sunday storm added several inches more, along with heavy rain in many other areas.

A late-month blizzard dumped more snow in the west and also brought freezing rain and strong winds to the region, toppling 7,000 power poles and damaging at least 550 miles of electrical lines and other infrastructure.

The snowy and cold weather in April set more than two dozen records in the state, including nearly 10 in Bismarck, which experienced its snowiest April on record.