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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 22, 1997
                     NORTH DAKOTA, AND SOUTH DAKOTA

The President today amended his recent major disaster declarations for the flood-ravaged Upper Midwest by authorizing direct federal funding for emergency work performed in response to the flooding in the States of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Under the amendments, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse 100 percent of the cost for all eligible emergency work undertaken by the Federal Government in each of the declared States. The action ensures that no State or local budgetary constraints will impede an immediate and effective response to these disasters.

The assistance, authorized through April 30, is retroactive to the dates of the President's major declarations for the three States. The States of North Dakota and South Dakota were declared for Federal aid on April 7, 1997, and the State of Minnesota on April 8, 1997.

Direct federal assistance is made available to help relieve health and safety concerns and pay for critical emergency work resulting directly from the disaster. Work covered can include debris removal, search and rescue operations, temporary facilities for schools and other community service, demolition of unsafe structures, transportation of emergency workers, supplies and equipment, and other assistance to alleviate immediate threats to life and property.

Federal funding provided through FEMA also was extended today to pay part of the eligible cost for the permanent repair or replacement of damaged public facilities in 53 counties in the State of South Dakota and 18 counties in the State of Minnesota. Federal assistance previously authorized for the States and affected local governments was limited to cost-shared reimbursement for debris removal and emergency services related to the flooding.

The counties designated for the additional assistance in the State of South Dakota are Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Corson, Davison, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Haakon, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, McPherson, Marshall, Miner Minnehaha, Moody, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Stanley, Sully, Tripp, Turner, Union, Walworth, Yankton and Ziebach.

The counties designated for the additional assistance in the State of Minnesota include Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Dakota, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Nicollet, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine.

Damage surveys are continuing in the State of North Dakota as floodwaters recede and additional assistance for restoring damaged public facilities may be designated based on the assessments. Under the President's declaration, funding for the State and local government agencies is currently being provided to cover part of the eligible cost for debris removal and emergency protective measures.