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Assessment nearly complete

By Staff | Jul 2, 2009

Damage assessments of Pierce County roads and culverts affected by this spring’s excessive runoff should be completed by mid-July, and soon after county officials will find out what the local cost share will be to make the repairs.

Since late May, a disaster field inspector accompanied by county commissioners has been touring damaged public infrastructure.

Some sections of roads were completely inundated with runoff and had to be closed off for period of time. Others sustained cracks and developed soft spots from the water damage. Every township reported some road problems.

Duane Johnston, district four commissioner, said many affected roads will need quite a bit of gravel added to them.

The state emergency management office has been overseeing the inspections, and are calculating the cost estimates which will be forwarded to the county. Normally FEMA supervises the work site inspections and cost estimates, but due to excessive flood damage in eastern North Dakota, the state disaster office is assisting FEMA, handling areas with less damage, among them Pierce County.

Pierce was among several North Dakota counties included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration this spring, making it eligible for state and federal funding assistance. Pierce County is anticipating only having to match five percent of total repair costs.

Commissioners were well aware spring flooding was a real possibility following a wet fall and long winter with heavy snow accumulation.

And when the spring melt began, overland flooding swallowed up some roads and washed out culverts. In addition, some rural property owners reported damage from flooding. Several claims for FEMA individual assistance were submitted.

This is the first time since 2005, the county has had to contend with widespread flooding.

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