Gov. John Hoeven today issued a disaster declaration for impacts resulting from heavy rainfall that is causing river and small stream flooding, and damage to roads, bridges, farmland, homes and businesses in the Red River Valley Basin. Hoeven also contacted Col. Michael Phenning of the Army Corps of Engineers to request assistance in constructing earthen dikes in Fargo in anticipation of a possible flood crest in the region over the next few days.

Hoeven was in Wahpeton, Fargo and Oakes over the weekend, where he reviewed conditions on the ground and offered state assistance to local officials. The Governor has spoken with Wahpeton Mayor Jim Sturdevant, Oakes Mayor Gary Opp, Milnor Mayor Hap McCleery, and Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker. He also contacted officials from Richland, Sargent and Dickey counties. The Richland County Commission and Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker submitted emergency declarations to the N.D. Department of Emergency Services on Monday, June 4. In the community of Milnor, the city issued a disaster declaration and is building an earthen levee to prevent flooding from Storm Lake.

"These conditions are creating hardships for homeowners, our farmers and communities," Hoeven said. "We're working with local officials and the Army Corps of Engineers to help. That means providing state support, and also calling on the assistance of the Corps to fight the impact of heavy rainfalls."

Weather conditions have caused significant rises in the Red River of the North and its tributaries including the Bois de Sioux River, the Otter Tail River, and the Otter Tail Diversion Channel near Wahpeton-Breckenridge. The combined flows from the Red River coming from the Wahpeton-Breckenridge area and from the Wild Rice River near Abercrombie, N.D. are expected to push the Red River to major flood levels in Fargo-Moorhead by Wednesday morning reaching a crest of 32-34 feet, 15 feet above flood stage, by Friday.

The N.D. Division of Homeland Security, in collaboration with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the N.D. National Guard, has requested assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Emergency Operations Program of Public Law 84-99, specifically requesting assistance for the city of Fargo with the construction of an earthen dike and for communities along the Red River Basin, as necessary.

"Areas in southeastern North Dakota were already saturated with above normal precipitation received throughout the month of May," said Division of Homeland Security Director, Greg Wilz. "We urge residents impacted by flooding to report damages to their local emergency management official to aid in identifying necessary response measures and documenting damages." Residents should also check with their insurance agents to see if they have coverage for damages.

NWS officials are forecasting additional significant rainfall for Wednesday afternoon into Friday morning, June 6-8. The weather system could add rainfall amounts of one inch or greater into flooded areas while river levels are still quite high, intensifying flooding in the southeast portion of the Red River Basin.