Burgum declares state of emergency for Walsh County based on flood threat

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Friday, March 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Governor Doug Burgum today issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Walsh County based on the threat of major flooding.

Walsh County and the city of Grafton have been working together the past month to prepare for potential record flooding due to heavy snowpack, frozen and saturated soils and an April climate outlook that indicates above-normal precipitation trends.

The most recent National Weather Service flood outlook for the Park River at Grafton calls for a crest range of 14 to 16 feet around April 1, which would be close to the record flood crest of 16.16 feet on May 22, 2013.

The governor’s executive order activates the North Dakota State Emergency Operations Plan to assist local officials and puts all state agencies on standby for flood response, including the North Dakota National Guard.

An emergency declaration is necessary for the state to request and obtain federal support. Gov. Burgum is specifically requesting flood preparation assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The current financial situation of the state due to the economic downturns in the agricultural and crude oil markets, coupled with unforeseeable expenses associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest response, makes federal support a necessity,” the order states.

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