North Dakota declares statewide emergency following ice storm that caused millions in damage

Courtesy: North Dakota Secretary of State's Office
Courtesy: North Dakota Secretary of State's Office

(Fargo, ND) -- An emergency declaration for widespread damage to North Dakota's utility infrastructure is in effect following this week's severe winter ice storm.  

State officials say Governor Burgum issued the declaration yesterday, marking the first time North Dakota's chief executive has issued such a directive since 2016.  Meanwhile, the three-day storm that started on Christmas Day prompted the National Weather Service to issue its first ice storm warning for North Dakota since 2016.  As many as 20,000 people were left without power at one point.

More than 1,400 power poles were destroyed. Experts say millions of dollars in damage was done over the course and in the aftermath of the storm. 

“We’re deeply grateful for the tireless efforts of local linemen and crews from across the state helping to restore power, as well as for the first responders, emergency management teams, road crews, health care workers and all others working to keep citizens safe during this extraordinary event,” North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said. “Our state agencies continue to support local response efforts as we prepare to seek a federal disaster declaration and assistance.”

 As of yesterday, power to all substations reportedly had been restored.  However, customers in some areas are likely to remain without power until next week.