As many of you are aware, since this winter, we have been working extensively with all of our state partners to prepare for and respond to a very active flood season. As these efforts continue, we’re very closely monitoring the situation in Minot, N.D., where water levels in the Souris River are predicted to reach record highs and bring historic flooding to the community. There have been predictions of flooding on the Souris, but only recently did we learn just how major that flooding was going to be. And, as with any flood or disaster, it is critical that people follow the instruction of local officials. Today we watched the community of Minot do just that as sirens sounded, and it was made clear that it was time to go.
The most important priority right now is the safety of individuals, families and facilities being impacted by the flooding. Here’s what you can do:
- Follow the instructions of state and local officials,
- Listen to local radio and TV stations for updated emergency information,
- If roads are closed or there is water over a road, do not drive through the water.
FEMA Region VIII here in Denver has been working with the our six states and other federal agencies for months to get ready for these rising waters across the region. We currently have personnel and a joint field office in Bismarck, N.D., as a result of earlier flooding this spring, we have commodities staged at locations in North Dakota, and we have additional supplies prepositioned at an Incident Support Base in South Dakota, in case they are needed.
Recently I visited flooding in South Dakota along the Missouri, and this evening I will make my way to North Dakota and Minot so I can see firsthand the flooding and levees that have been overtopped. Seeing devastating flooding in our states has reminded me how important it is to be prepared for any disaster. If you haven’t already, now is the time to take simple steps to protect your loved ones, homes and businesses from flooding. Visit www.Ready.gov/floods to learn more.