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Williams County Commissioners Declare Winter Storm Emergency

Posted on May 3, 2022


UPDATE 5/3/2022: The Williams County Board of County Commissioners have extended the emergency declaration beyond its initial seven day period until further notice.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2022

For more information, contact:
Mike Smith
Williams County/Williston Emergency Management
Phone: 701-577-7707 (office)
mikesm@co.williams.nd.us

Williams County Commissioners Declare Winter Storm Emergency

Williams County has declared a Winter Storm Emergency in response to the Blizzard of April 23rd and 24th that has left roads blocked with snow and thousands of utility customers without power.  North Dakota Century Code Chapter 37 allows for the Commission to declare a local disaster or emergency “in order to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local disaster or emergency operational plans and to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance thereunder”.  The storm caused wide-spread power outages, tremendous damage to electrical infrastructure, and road closures throughout the entire region due to snow blockage and low visibility.  An emergency declaration acknowledges that impacts of the storm will continue for weeks and result in long-term consequences for citizens and communities.

Crews from the State of North Dakota, Williams County, cities, townships, and contractors worked long hours for a second weekend in a row, and will continue to focus on clearing snow/slush from roadways in the coming days/weeks.  The three utility companies providing service within the County (Lower Yellowstone Electric Cooperative, Montana Dakota Utilities, and Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative) have 600+ damaged power poles and miles of power line to repair; it may take more than 5 days to restore all customers with power.  Ag producers will experience long term impacts from the late-season storm due to stress on livestock herds (in particular young livestock) from unseasonably cold temperatures and the snow cover reducing available forage & delaying field preparation/planting.

View a copy of the Emergency Declaration here.

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