© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Presidential disaster declaration approved for damage from Christmas ice storm

Governor Doug Burgum says the declaration will cover the costs from the disaster in thirteen counties.

The Biden Administration has approved Governor Doug Burgum’s request for a federal disaster declaration to cover the costs incurred during the severe ice storm that took place at the end of December.

Between December 25 and December 27, heavy ice accumulation and straight line winds caused more than $11.5 million in damages.

Burgum says the declaration was approved for 13 affected counties.

"Very pleased to have that approved at the federal level - we had made a request, and it was approved for all thirteen counties: Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Grant, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman and Traill."

Burgum says freezing rains and 40 mph wind gusts toppled more than 2,000 power poles, knocking out electricity for about 20,000 people. It was the biggest ice storm since 1997.

He says he made it into Fargo right as conditions were getting dire.

"I got back to the Fargo area, right about the time it was happening - but I got there before the roads got bad, so I was kind of hunkered down there when that was going on. But in Burleigh County, there were people skating on the streets in Bismarck. Literally, kids out skating down roadways. It was like a glazed donut over there."

The presidential disaster declaration unlocks FEMA public assistance to pay for the costs of the damaged infrastructure.