Residents of Drayton and the surrounding area encouraged to contact their representatives regarding the levee system in the City of Drayton. The push comes after FEMA determined that 6000 cubic yards of levees (600 truckloads) must be removed because they are not compatible with open space management practices. meaning FEMA rules don't allow dikes to be placed on buy-out properties. In a letter to KXPO, Kodabank Vice President Rob Boll states the problem came to light when the previous representative passed away and now the rules are being looked at by new eyes. After having been in place for a number of years, the permanent dikes were found to be out of compliance after a July 2014 inspection. In March 2015 the City offered to repay FEMA $636,396.25 to buy back the buyout
properties to ensure continued protection, but the offer was denied in October 2015. Boll says placement of temporary dikes (600+ truckloads in, 600 out) can cost the City between $100,000 and $200,000 (each time), and the City only receives federal funding IF the flood event has been declared a major disaster by the President of
United States. The cost of a replacement permanent levee system could cost the city up to 1.5 million dollars, which breaks down to about $1820 per resident. Residents are asked to pick their areas of concern and call their representatives in Bismarck to let them know the city needs their help.
Note: The city has needed the dikes 5 times since 1997
Expert From Letter to KXPO
What this means to you: 1) Each year you, the water user, would have to pay
between $250.00 to $500.00 more on your water bill. Older retired residents are
living on fixed incomes. The money must come from someone! 2) Removal of the
existing dikes poses a risk of slippage and damages to the infrastructure to city
streets and underground utilities. This cost would be on top of that extra water
bill. We have slip circles on our river leading to instabilities of the ground.
This could be a major expense. 3) What are the chances that the right weather
will cooperate to construct dikes each year when needed? 4) Where do we get this
dirt each year to construct the dikes? Once dirt is used for dike building, it
takes 5 years before it can be used again for a dike. 5) How do we keep vegetation
on the dikes if we must remove them every year? 6) Seems that Drayton is the
holding station for all the water from up stream, where the problem could last up
to 6 weeks. 7) We have one of the best schools around - what happens with that?
Will new families want to settle here if there are all these added expense and
problems? Drayton is a bedroom community where many commuters live. 8) There has
been an increase of housing development lately with young families planting roots
here, due in part to the security and peace of mind of our good dike system.
There was a city-wide meeting held on June 7.
The information from that meeting should indicate to you that the City of Drayton
has a real concern for its future and safety.
Heidi Heitkamp or Gail Hand office 701-775-9601 Cell 701-269- 5662
Kevin Cramer or Randy Richards office 701-738-4880
Senator Hoeven or Tom Brusegaard office 701-738-4880
Cost estimates for damage to the city of Grafton after the recent wind storm are being calculated. During last nights City Council Reorganization meeting, City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann told the new council that cleanup will end up costing the city around $50,000. Ziegelmann estimates extra staff time will cost between $8,000 and $12,000, while street lighting and signal replacement will run about $5,000. The city is still receiving quotes for stump grinders who will remove debris from the dump site on the north end of town as well. Ziegelmann estimates that process will cost anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000. He says more quotes are coming in and he'll be presenting more numbers to the City Council when it meets again in July.
The Grafton City Council held its post election reorganization meeting last night. On a roll call vote of 5-3, Councilmen Christopher Lipsh was elected Council President over fellow nominee Greg Young who cast his vote for Lipsh. Lipsh replaces outgoing president Len Wysocki who did not seek reelection this year. Mayor West presented Wysocki with a plaque and thanked him for serving 20 years on the council and for 8 of those years, acting as council president. Phil Ray will replace Wysocki's on the council Greg Young was elected to serve as vice president.
A number of pavement improvement projects are set to begin in Cavalier. Work will be conducted by Minnesota company Diamond Surface Inc and is set to begin on July 6th. Improvements include pavement patching, diamond grinding, sidewalk repairs and installation of ADA ramps. A portion of the project will be taking place at night. Diamond Surface says project limits on Highway 18 start just north of Oak Street and extend to just south of Tornado Drive. Work will also take through the downtown section of Cavalier, starting at the Highway 5, Highway 18 intersection on main street and continue west to the Dakota Railroad tracks. Diamond Surface will be conducting weekly progress meetings at Cavalier City Hall every Wednesday at 10:00 am throughout the duration of the project which is expected to be completed in late August.
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm is advising consumers to follow some simple steps following the storms that recently hit the area.
The storms, which have been rolling across the state over the last week, have done damage in varying degrees from Bismarck to New England to Grafton.
“There are significant reports of damage to homes, cars, commercial and public buildings,” Hamm said. “Insurers have already brought in adjusters from across the region to start working claims and we encourage policyholders to contact them immediately after finding damage.”
Besides contacting insurers, property owners are encouraged to follow these steps to make sure their claim is handled as quickly as possible:
Make necessary emergency repairs to prevent any further damages. If the damage requires immediate repair, advise your agent as soon as possible, so that your claim can be processed on a priority basis. Remember to keep receipts and records of any repair you make to prevent further damage.
Watch and listen for information on whether your insurance company has set up an emergency claims service center in the area.
Inventory all property damage for your insurance company's adjuster, the person the company will likely send to assess your damages. Be sure to identify and save all personal property that was damaged in the storm for the adjuster to look at.
4. When choosing contractors, be wary of businesses that may be storm chasing. Ask for references. The Secretary of State can tell you if they are licensed to do business in North Dakota.
5. Work with your agent and company to resolve any problems you may have with your claim. If you cannot resolve the problem, contact the Insurance Department at 701.328.2440, or toll free at 1.800.247.0560 for assistance
6. Above all, be patient. A severe storm causing extensive damage and involving thousands of claims will take time to process. Working cooperatively with your agent and company can make processing your claim more efficient.
While there have been several different weather events already this spring, the Bismarck/Mandan area storm that occurred on June 17 seems to be one of the largest claim events for 2016. So far, 8 of the top 10 insurers have reported $39,029,080 in damages to private property owners. Additionally, the Insurance Department’s Fire and Tornado Fund has been notified by 5 Bismarck area state and political subdivisions of damages to public facilities which adds to the already mounting claims from previous June storms elsewhere in the state.
The Fund expects almost 100 claims and millions of dollars in damages from previous storms.
For more information on how to submit an insurance claim and general insurance policy information, visit the North Dakota Insurance Department web site at www.nd.gov/ndins/consumers.
In a blow to the Obama administration's environmental agenda, a federal judge has struck down the Bureau of Land Management's fracking rules, saying that the president overstepped his authority.
The judge ruled late Tuesday that the agency needs permission from Congress to regulate fracking, and noted that legislators previously denied the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate the practice under the Clean Water Act.
Clare Lakewood, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, says that argument doesn't hold up.
"It's an outlier of a decision," she states. "Frankly, there is plenty of authority that BLM has the authority to make rules with regard to fossil fuel extraction on its land, including fracking. And we are confident this will be overturned on appeal."
The rules were already on hold after the same judge issued a preliminary injunction last year.
Several oil and gas producing states, and a Native American tribe, brought the case. They argued that the rules were unnecessary since the states already have the authority to regulate fracking.
Lakewood says the rules would have guaranteed the public more information on the chemicals used, some of which are linked to respiratory disease and cancer.
"It would require disclosure of certain of the chemicals that are used in hydraulic fracturing," she states. "That's really important because we know that a lot of the chemicals are toxic to humans and the environment."
The rules would also require all fracking wastewater be stored in above ground tanks, instead of in containment pits that have the potential to leak and contaminate groundwater.
The Department of the Interior is expected to appeal the ruling.
Statewide - Extra traffic safety patrols for the Memorial Day Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign resulted in 2,020 citizen contacts across North Dakota. Forty-eight law enforcement agencies, including the North Dakota Highway Patrol, participated in these additional hours for seat belt enforcement May 23 through June 5. A total of 1,995 citations were attributed to the added patrols. Of the total, 695 were citations for failure to use a proper safety restraint and 21 were child restraint citations. Tickets for speeding totaled 739. The traffic stops also resulted in 22 warrants served, 18 drug arrests, 11 citations for distracted driving, five felony violations and five driving under the influence (DUI) citations. The Click It or Ticket event paired education and enforcement to help save lives by showing the importance of buckling up. Failure to use a seat belt is the most significant factor associated with motor vehicle crash injuries and deaths. In 2015 in North Dakota, 93 percent of uninjured survivors of fatal crashes were wearing a seat belt.
For the week ending June 19, average temperatures were four to eight degrees above
normal across the State, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The northeast continued to receive unwanted precipitation with some areas reporting up to four inches. This persistent moisture has caused significant flooding resulting in drowned out crops. The impact of the flooding won’t be known until a later time. The southwest received some much-needed rainfall. However, these storms also brought strong winds and hail that caused some crop damage. There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 14 short, 73 adequate, and 11 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 15 short, 77 adequate, and 6 surplus.
Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 24 fair, 66 good, and 7 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 97 percent, near 95 last year. Headed was 79 percent, well ahead of 41 last year.
Durum wheat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 22 fair, 75 good, and 2 excellent. Durum emerged was 95 percent, near 93 last year, and ahead of 77 for the five-year average. Jointed was 69 percent, well ahead of 38 last year and 30 average. Headed was 19 percent, ahead of 11 last year.
Spring wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 14 fair, 74 good, and 8 excellent. Spring wheat jointed was 81 percent, ahead of 76 last year, and well ahead of 46 average. Headed was 25 percent, ahead of 14 last year and 11 average.
Barley condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 13 fair, 77 good, and 9 excellent. Barley jointed was 87 percent, ahead of 73 last year, and well ahead of 45 average. Headed was 26 percent, ahead of 15 last year and 10 average.
Oats condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 16 fair, 76 good, and 5 excellent. Oats jointed was 81 percent, well ahead of 56 last year and 48 average. Headed was 27 percent, ahead of 16 last year and 10 average.
Corn condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 12 fair, 74 good, and 12 excellent. Corn silking was 2 percent, ahead of 0 both last year and average.
Soybeans condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 18 fair, 69 good, and 9 excellent. Soybeans emerged was 96 percent, ahead of 89 last year and 80 average. Blooming was 5 percent, ahead of 0 both last year and average.
The Red Cross has been called to some rural communities in Walsh County. Emergency Manager Brent Nelson says residents in the Fordville and Inkser areas rely on wells for their water and he says frequent power outages there are causing some issues. "Everybody in Fordville has their own private well and they've got pumps for those wells, but without electricity, if they don't have a generator we've got some people without drinking water," Nelson says. Power had been restored for a short time in Minto after a few hour outage today but by late afternoon it was out again. Nelson says it could be a while before the power is fully restored, "We've been visiting with Nodak and Otter Tail and we're hoping a lot of these areas are back up tonight, but they said it may be tomorrow before Fordville gets power back." He says they have three ways to bring up the power to Fordville and all three ways are out at the moment. Sustained winds of up to 80 MPH downed trees all over the region today (Friday) and Nelson says the damage was fairly uniform but he thinks Forest River probably has the largest amount of fallen trees. Nelson says reliable rainfall amounts are had to come by since the strong winds tended to blow the rain over the gauges. He says Park River which received less wind probably had the most accurate readings which averaged just over four inches. He says there were reports of over 5 inches near Nash. Residents in affected communities are asked to conserve on water usage as lift stations are still trying to keep up. Nelson says because of ground saturation and runoff, it may be a couple days before things return to normal.
NOTE: The Cities of Drayton and Park River are asking residents to reduce water usage as lift stations there are working at full capacity. Officials believe the request will be in place for at least two days.
Lestikow park will remain closed tomorrow however the pool will be open. The park road will only be open to the pool
Powerful winds associated with strong thunderstorms caused heavy damage to our region this morning. The winds came with storms that began in the west central part of the state and eventually made their way east. Meteorologist Jeff Makowski with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks says their station ten miles east of Grafton measured a top wind speed of 64 MPH. Makowski says however, there were reports of even stronger wings to the west of the station, " We had other sites especially just to the southwest of there that measured winds up to nearly 80 miles per hour." "Minto, back through Niagra, back towards Eddy and Benson county, all those areas would be the areas that would be impacted by the strongest winds." A Semi was also reportedly blown off the road on Highway 2 near Niagra this morning. Winds also toppled trees across the area. In Grafton, crews began to clear the streets as soon as the storm died down according to Grafton Mayor Chris West. "Until the roads are safe, please stay at home and stay off the roadways so that the crews can get things cleaned up and make a safe environment once again," West said. "The water should be receding if the rain stays away, we have no reported problems with any lift stations or anything like that," he added. West also reminds residents of the city's sump pump ordinance and that it is illegal to pump your water into the sanitation system. Instead he say, run your sump pump hoses outside. Grafton Police Chief Anthony Dumas tells KXPO there were a number of instances of trees falling on homes and vehicles across town as well. Dumas echos Mayor West's message to stay off the streets if possible while crews are cleaning up.