nddes insights June 2020

ND Emergency Commission approves additional $406M in federal funds for COVID-19 response and recovery

The North Dakota Emergency Commission voted unanimously June 18 to direct over $406 million in federal funding to the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, with the majority of the money again going to support economic recovery.

North Dakota received $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed. The $406.1 million approved this month follows the commission’s vote in May to use $524.2 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars, bringing the total used to roughly $930 million and leaving $320 million available.

Gov. Doug Burgum thanked legislators for their strong collaboration and input and also expressed his appreciation for North Dakota citizens who, by practicing individual responsibility and social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus and reduce health care impacts, allowed the commission to direct 75 percent of the federal monies toward economic support.

“This federal funding is being distributed in a way that provides the greatest positive impact to North Dakota citizens, businesses and all levels of state and local government,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to the legislators, agency leaders and citizens who have worked hard to ensure that these funds can be used to minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 and facilitate economic recovery, saving both lives and livelihoods.”

The $406.1 million includes $200 million to support the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, on top of the $110 million allocated last month to keep the fund solvent.

More than $61 million will go toward continuation of government services, including telework, cybersecurity, transition to digital services and personal protective equipment. The remaining $32 million of the $406.1 million will support public health and safety efforts. The funding includes a total of nearly $4 million for cities, counties and park districts.

mitigation matters: remembering the 2011 MOUSE/souris river flood

It was nine years ago (June 22, 2011) that floodwaters overtopped levees in the Mouse/Souris River Basin triggering the evacuation of about 11,000 residents in more than 4,100 homes and businesses in Minot, Burlington and the surrounding areas.

Staff from NDDES and multiple local, state and federal agencies participated in that flood fight while also facing flooding on the Missouri River downstream from the Garrison Dam.

Following the Mouse/Souris River flood and during the recovery, NDDES assisted with the first phase in providing permanent flood protection in the area. The agency enabled the construction of a floodwall around the water treatment plant in Minot.

During the Mouse/Souris River flood, the facility had become inundated by floodwater that was contaminated, forcing a boil order for the entire service area for 6-8 weeks until waters could recede. The new floodwall was built to protect the water treatment plant up to 2011 flood levels with an additional 5 feet, 8 inches of freeboard. Because of the project, the Minot water treatment plant continues to provide safe drinking water to more than 100,000 residents in Minot and the surrounding areas.

The floodwall around Minot's water treatment plant was built following the historic Mouse/Souris River flood in 2011.

Transportation Connection seeking input for long-range planning efforts

This summer, the North Dakota Department of Transportation is gathering input from the public regarding Transportation Connection, the state's long-range transportation plan. In the May 2020 edition of NDDES Insights, one of the featured articles mentioned how this plan, with input from mitigation teams throughout the state, including NDDES, would be analyzing transportation systems to understand the impacts of hazards.

Since the plan's development will require close coordination and cooperation with a broad array of voices, organizations, agencies and representatives from across the state, North Dakotans are encouraged to learn more about Transportation Connection and participate in a survey at https://transportationconnection.org/tc101/.

More surveys, briefings and information will be shared at the Transportation Connection website in the following months.

Jacobson Retires from State Radio

Congratulations to Janet Jacobson, who retired from State Radio this month after 12 years of service. While Janet served with us for a little over a decade, she has been a part of the 9-1-1 community for more than 30 years.

During her last shift, her crew members set up a "final call” for her by asking Trooper Bennet Bitz to radio in and extend appreciation from the North Dakota Highway Patrol (See the video below.).

COVID Response team celebrates testing milestone

The North Dakota Department of Health State Lab expanded its capacity during the COVID-19 response from 195 tests per day to 5,000 in just 3 months. Pictured here are representatives from all the agencies involved in that process, including the N.D. Department of Health, North Dakota National Guard and N.D. Department of Emergency Services.