FEMA estimates damage for county
By Danielle Abbott
More than 450 Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel have made their way across the nation to North Dakota. Joining those FEMA agents are nearly 122 individuals from supporting agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard Disaster Assistance Response Teams and the American Red Cross. Across the state flood waters are beginning to fluctuate, drastically decreasing in some areas, while continuing to hold strong and high in other areas. Of the 53 North Dakota counties, 43 counties have now been approved for public assistance programs due to flooding. McLean County was one of the 31 counties previously approved for the public assistance program, and on April 24 the remaining 12 counties, along with three Indian reservations, were approved. The public assistance programs will fund an estimated 75 percent of eligible expenses for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by recent disasters. The program will help reimburse funding to state, local and certain nonprofit, private organizations. Thirty-three counties have also been approved for an individual assistance program, but McLean County does not yet fall into the individual coverage. With the waters receding, numerous agencies are beginning to assess damages. In a teleconference on Thursday, numerous disaster recovery officials explained the current situations for cities and counties across the state. "We are currently in recovering phase, working with city and state authorities with immediate needs," said Tom Bush, infrastructure branch chief, North Dakota joint field office.