Funding available as flood recovery continues

Earlier in June, President Donald Trump signed a disaster declaration for North Dakota. Federal and state funding will benefit counties including Richland County. The process of meeting and ensuring reimbursements will begin next week.

Richland County, North Dakota, is expected to have an easy recovery from the 2019 flood season.

Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht updated the county board of commissioners when they met Tuesday, June 18. Less than a week earlier, on June 12, President Donald Trump signed a disaster declaration for North Dakota.

“The funding will be there,” Lambrecht said. “The federal funding will be there and so will the state funding.”

Lambrecht anticipates necessary meetings will begin the week of Monday, June 24. Townships in Richland County have done pretty much what they need to, he said.

“They just need to bring the receipts in and FEMA will take care of that,” Lambrecht continue.

The declaration covers March 21-April 29, Forum News Service reported. Richland County is one of 19 in North Dakota included in the declaration. Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., anticipates as much as $10.5 million in damage occurred.

“This presidential disaster declaration will help our local governments and agencies recover from extensive infrastructure damage and make resources available to help communities reduce the long-term risk of future flooding,” Burgum stated.

Burgum declared a statewide flood emergency in March 2019.

“Federal funding is available to the state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis,” FEMA stated. “(It’s available) for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by flooding. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.”

Receding water levels are allowing the opportunity to assess damages to county bridges, Lambrecht said. He’s also working with resident Bob Scheller, Hankinson, North Dakota, to find funding for replacing Scheller’s personal bridge.

“It used to be a county bridge and is the only access to his house,” Lambrecht explained.

North Dakota saw little to no damage to individual homes, Lambrecht continued. While townships received some funding because of snow emergencies, Richland County did not.

The next Richland County Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 2 at the Richland County Courthouse in Wahpeton.

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