Disaster aid to North Dakotans reaches $250 million

|  August 22, 2011 |

Federal and state disaster assistance for this year’s flooding in North Dakota totals more than $250 million, according to an Aug. 17 report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (Click here for the press release from FEMA).

Individuals and businesses in Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, McHenry, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, and Ward counties and the Spirit Lake Nation may apply for disaster assistance. The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 22. Call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

By close of business on Aug. 16, 9,577 individuals had registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance. A total of 8,475 grants for more than $87.3 million have been approved for temporary housing and essential home repairs. The Other Needs Assistance program has approved more than $1.6 million for serious disaster-related needs such as personal property losses, and medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Additionally, 123 Temporary Housing Units have been placed on private sites for the homeowners to live in while repairing their homes.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides funding reimbursement for eligible costs incurred for emergency response or damage to public infrastructure. Public Assistance has been approved for 44 counties and four reservations in North Dakota. Obligated funding as of Aug. 17 totals $11.6 million for 250 approved projects.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $150.7 million to date in low-interest disaster loans to residents and businesses. SBA disaster representatives are available at all Disaster Recovery Centers and the Business Recovery Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each resident or business owner complete an application.

Additional information about SBA loans is available through SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call TTY (800) 877-8339. Applicants may also apply for SBA loans online at SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), funded by FEMA and administered by Job Service North Dakota, has provided more than $320,753 to residents who are unemployed because of the flood disaster. Individuals can file DUA benefit claims with Job Service North Dakota:

  • Online at www.jobsnd.com
  • By mail or fax (forms are located under the DUA link on jobsnd.com)
  • By phone at 701-328-1152, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY customers can contact Job Service by calling 800-366-6888.

DUA is a form of individual federal disaster assistance that provides temporary income assistance to workers—including farmers and ranchers—and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

The DUA registration deadlines for the different counties have been extended. The new deadlines are:

  • Aug. 26 – Burleigh and Ward counties
  • Aug. 31 – McHenry, Morton, and Renville counties
  • Sept. 6 – Benson County
  • Sept. 14 – Spirit Lake Nation and Barnes, Ramsey, and Richland counties –Sept. 14

Additionally, $730,894 in federal funds has been obligated for a state-managed crisis counseling program to help individuals and communities cope with after-effects of the disaster.

Free legal assistance is available to individuals through the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. This help is provided to those who may need disaster-related legal services. Call the Disaster Legal Services Hotline at 1-800-634-5263 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday, or apply online at www.legalassist.org. Callers and online applicants should identify that they are seeking flood-related legal assistance.

As of Aug. 15 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has collected more than 42,000 tons of debris in Minot and Ward County.

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