BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement today after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied North Dakota’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration for drought.
“We appreciate FEMA’s consideration of our request. Given the history of similar requests and the enormous demands placed on federal resources by the hurricanes and wildfires that have occurred since we submitted our request, we knew it was a long shot,” Burgum said. “In addition to the many actions taken by the state to help livestock producers, we felt they also deserved an attempt to seek federal disaster assistance, and as a state we will continue to do everything in our power to help them recover.”
“We remain deeply grateful for the emergency assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and how swiftly Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue responded to our requests for help,” Burgum added. “We also thank our firefighters who responded to hundreds of wildfires this summer, protecting the health and safety of our citizens.”
Burgum requested the presidential disaster declaration on Aug. 7, based on harsh drought conditions impacting farmers, ranchers and other residents across much of North Dakota. Nearly 94 percent of the state was in some stage of drought at the time.
Since then, rainfall has alleviated drought conditions across portions of North Dakota, but many areas are still behind their normal rainfall totals. As of last week, 60 percent of North Dakota remained in drought: 41 percent in moderate drought, 17 percent in severe drought and 2 percent in extreme drought.