ST. PAUL — Governor Mark Dayton today secured a presidential declaration of a major disaster from President Barack Obama for 20 Minnesota Counties affected by spring flooding.
In an April 20 letter to President Obama, Governor Dayton requested Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Clay, Grant, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lyon, McLeod, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Scott, Sibley, Stevens, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine counties be included in the disaster declaration after preliminary damage assessments revealed $10.864 million in costs and damages. All 20 counties requested by Governor Dayton are included in the disaster declaration.
The major disaster declaration includes two categories of aid:
• Public Assistance: Assistance to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. This applies within the counties in the disaster area.
• Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Assistance to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in the State of Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.
The major disaster declaration means FEMA will fund 75 percent of approved costs. Eligible work might include debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.
Governor Dayton will recommend to the legislature that the state fully fund the remaining 25 percent share. This request is designed to relieve the burden to communities like Moorhead, Granite Falls and many others who have had as many as four disasters in the past year.