ST. PAUL — Governor Mark Dayton secured a latest major disaster declaration following strong storms and flooding in June. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for 18 Minnesota counties: Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin.
Preliminary damage assessments determined the storms caused $17.8 million in damage to public infrastructure across the state. Communities in the affected counties are now eligible for federal assistance.
Rep. Jay McNamar (DFL – Elbow Lake) is happy to see government stepping up to help these communities.
“These counties have been hit hard,” said Rep. McNamar. “Our district was hit probably as hard, or harder, than any district in the state. It’s great to see support from Governor Dayton to make sure we get the repairs that we need done.”
The major disaster declaration is for Public Assistance which covers uninsured eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships and certain private, not-for-profit organizations.
Preliminary damage estimates compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM) showed the following eligible amounts:
• Debris Removal – $5 million
• Emergency Protective Measures – $1.8 million
Permanent work to repair
• Roads and Bridges – $9 million
• Water Control Facilities – $1 million
• Buildings and Equipment – $243,474
• Utilities – $585,615
• Parks, Recreational Facilities and other items – $73,780
FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of approved costs. The 25 percent non-federal share is the responsibility of state and local governments.
This disaster declaration also includes funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This is assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in the state are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.
The storm system began with 5.6 inches of rain in Stevens County on June 20 and ended with 8.25 inches of rain in Wilkin County on June 26. Parts of the state saw record 48-hour rainfall amounts. One to two inch-per-hour rainfall caused flash flooding and mudslides in many locations. Thousands of trees were uprooted and fell on public buildings and roads. At the peak, 600,000 buildings were without electricity, making it the largest power outage in Minnesota history.