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Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Gulf Coast and New Orleans ~ Miracle or a New President?

Situation Report from the Red River Floods of 1997

6. MAJOR ACTIONS: On May 24, President Clinton released a long-term federal recovery plan for the Red River states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The plan was developed by an Interagency Task Force chaired by James Lee Witt, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director. The report, “Framework for Federal Action to Help Build a Healthy Recovery and Safer Future in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota,” identifies three priorities for federal long-term recovery efforts: mitigation of flood hazards; housing; and reestablishing community sustainability. FEMA officials have announced that the disaster incident period for FEMA-1174-DR-ND(flooding), which began on February 28, has been closed as of May 24, 1997.
To be eligible for FEMA assistance programs, local governments or individuals must have sustained the damage during the incident period as defined by the dates indicated. The state has requested that the incident period be kept open for Benson, Nelson, and Ramsey Counties and the Spirit Lake Nation. Federal and state officials will continue to work together to address the problems and needs associated with the rising waters of Devils Lake. To register for assistance, residents should call FEMA’s National Teleregistration Center’s toll-free number at (800)462-9029. The State Coordinating Officer has requested that the Red Cross conduct a needs assessment for the Devils Lake area. Staff for the FEMA Community Relations Program is continuing door-to-door campaigns in Fargo and in Grand Forks to discuss with residents available assistance programs, the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and hazard mitigation measures.
The staff in Fargo has contacted 284 people and visited 538 homes. In Grand Forks, staff has contacted 4,125 people and visited 11,896 homes. Staff has also initiated a project to identify the needs of the returning migrant farm worker population. The “one-stop” licensing operation for contractor and transient merchant licenses will remain open at the Job Service North Dakota office in Grand Forks through June. This week, the office will be open May 28, 29 and 30. During June, the days of operation will change to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Participating agencies include the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the N.D. Workers Compensation Bureau and Job Service North Dakota.
The North Dakota Air National Guard has provided security. Grand Forks city employees will be trained to take over some functions of the office after it closes in June. Since the center was established last month, 18 applicants had been arrested on outstanding warrants, and a $20,000 workers’ compensation judgment against a contractor was settled. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reduced releases on May 27 from Jamestown Dam from 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 750 cfs. Combined releases from both Jamestown and Pipestone Dams are at 1,500 cfs and are expected to continue at that level for approximately three weeks.
The State/Federal Disaster Field Office (DFO) has received 297 Notice of Interest applications for participation in the FEMA Public Assistance Program. Applicants include: 47 counties; 157 cities; 13 electrical cooperatives; four tribal governments; 17 stateagencies; 12 park districts; 14 water districts; five universities, 24 public school districts; one municipal airport; and three private nonprofit organizations. State personnel assigned to the DFO are working with private nonprofit organizations to determine their eligibility.
The DFO processing center has received 448 Public Assistance Damage Survey Reports(DSRs). Of those, 317 DSRs have been obligated, and DSRs have been completed for 50 applicants. State field staff producing DSRs include: two inspector coordinators; six team managers; eight reviewers; two electrical inspectors; three bridge inspectors; one building inspector; one tribal inspector; two water/sewer inspectors; and 27 field inspectors.
FEMA has seven team managers; six reviewers; four bridge inspectors; one building inspector; three electrical inspectors; one environmental inspector; one tribal inspector; two water/sewer inspectors; and 23 field inspectors. State and federal personnel are operating at satellite offices in Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Bismarck and Minot. More than 33,000 North Dakotans have reported personal property damages to the National Teleregistration Center. Of those applicants, 20,536 had received $34,685,389 in Disaster Housing assistance. The state Individual and Family Grant program has received 16,051 applications. The program staff has approved 1,118 applications for $1,230,383 in grants.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has received 6,805 loan applications. Of these, 2,168 have been approved for a total of $42,188,200 in loans. Link to North Dakotas site to read further
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