FEMA Determines Stevens County Might be Eligible for Federal Aid 11 Jul 13

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

township boards.


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

federal assistance.


The agencies are visiting a total of 17 counties and will be assessing

damage in Pope, Swift, Traverse, and Big Stone Counties on Thursday,

July 11.