The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Minnesota
Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management (HSEM) were in Morris on Wednesday, assessing
damage done in the county during the June 21 storm. Following storms
across the state on June 20-26, FEMA arrived in Minnesota to begin
assessing damage and collecting data to determine if the state could
qualify for federal disaster relief funding.
John Moore, from HSEM, said the preliminary damage assessment is the
first step in determining if Governor Mark Dayton will make a request
for a presidential declaration of disaster. Moore, along with another
HSEM representative and a FEMA agent, met with local county, township,
and city officials to tabulate the damage done across the county.
The agencies were only assessing damage to public infrastructure and
certain not-for-profit organizations. Moore noted privately owned
properties and residences would not be eligible for disaster relief
funding. Among those requesting assistance, the University of
Minnesota, Morris, the Stevens County Highway Department, and several
Every county, and the state as a whole, have an established threshold
that must be met in order to qualify for federal assistance.
Minnesota’s federal disaster threshold is $7.2 million. Each county
has an individual threshold, determined by size of population. Stevens
County’s threshold is just over $33,000. Moore noted each county that
has been assessed thus far has met their threshold and the state’s
total is well over $10 million.
Following Wednesday’s assessment, Stevens County Emergency Management
Director Dona Greiner reports the county’s preliminary assessment for
storm damage is just under $500,000. After each county has been
assessed, and the state’s total damage has been determined, Governor
Dayton will have the necessary documentation to submit a request for
The agencies are visiting a total of 17 counties and will be assessing
damage in Pope, Swift, Traverse, and Big Stone Counties on Thursday,