Published January 29, 2024

Burgum requests presidential disaster declaration for holiday ice storm

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The Dakotan
| The Dakotan


Gov. Doug Burgum on Monday asked for a presidential major disaster declaration for the Christmas ice storm that walloped state infrastructure and caused thousands of North Dakota residents to experience power outages.

Burgum declared Dec. 25-27 a disaster on Dec. 29, giving state agencies the green light to dispatch resources to affected areas of the state.

A presidential disaster declaration would open up additional relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including money from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps communities become more resilient to future weather events.

The weather dropped an unseasonable amount of precipitation on the state. Some parts of southeastern North Dakota received up to 3 inches of rain. The freezing rain, combined with the wind, is estimated to have downed more than 2,000 utility poles and caused more than $11.5 million in infrastructure damage, according to the announcement.

It was the first time since 2016 that the National Weather Service had issued an ice storm warning for North Dakota.

“This was the worst ice storm since 1997 for much of eastern North Dakota, bringing the region to a standstill over the Christmas holiday, causing enormous damage to utility infrastructure and knocking out power to more than 20,000 residents, including some who went without electricity for more than 10 days,” Burgum said in a statement.

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