While the state of North Dakota battles severe drought in the southwest corner and Cavalier County, itself, is abnormally dry, it may come as a surprise to learn that the county has actually just received a declaration of spring flooding disaster from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
By Melissa Anderson
“Cavalier County declared a spring flood disaster due to excessive snow fall early in the winter combined with the rapid melt that damaged many roads and washed out numerous culverts,” Cavalier County Road Supervisor Terry Johnston said.
The damages that occurred this spring as a result of the rapid melt was mostly due to culvert washouts and damage to roadways due to saturation. Overall, the damage is county wide with the exception of a few townships having little or no damage.
“This disaster declaration will be very helpful to both the county and townships in the recovery from disaster,” Johnston stated.
The preliminary damage assessments for Cavalier County were in excess of one million dollars, which validated the disaster declaration and the subsequent federal funds needed in order to address the roadways in need of repair. This funding is 75 percent federal, 10 percent state, and 15 percent local.
“The federal declaration provides the funding needed to properly repair damages that county and townships would otherwise struggle to come up with,” Johnston said.
An Applicants Briefing was held in Grafton on July 26 for those counties receiving the FEMA declaration to attend and Johnston expects the disaster inspectors to arrive early August.
Johnston does note that the repair work can be completed as long as pictures are taken of the damage prior to repair and the invoices of work completed are brought in to his office at the Cavalier County Courthouse.
“I would estimate the inspection to last at least two months and expect everything to go quite smoothly. The state has always provided us with good inspectors that are very competent and fair,” Johnston said.