North Dakota REC’s hit by ice storm will look to FEMA for help

January 19, 2024

BISMARCK, N.D.–The widespread utility infrastructure damage caused by the severe ice storm in southeast and south central North Dakota has been repaired. However, the cost of that damage is another story.

Josh Kramer, Executive Vice-president and General Manager of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperative says the early estimate indicates more than $15 million in damages to the six distribution cooperatives, with over 5,000 power poles lost. He points out that the power poles and wires are not insured, so getting FEMA assistance is “key” to allowing the cooperatives to help recover the costs of the outages.

Kramer says the cooperatives are working closely with the state Department of Emergency Services and the governor’s office for an official request to FEMA, which will then make a recommendation for a presidential declaration that triggers the FEMA assistance.