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Governor Dayton Requests Disaster Declaration

July 17, 2013

18 Counties Across State Included in Request

ST. PAUL — Governor Mark Dayton sent a letter to President Barack Obama today requesting a major federal disaster declaration for 18 counties affected by flash flooding and severe storms June 20-26.

In his letter, Governor Dayton requests Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin be included in the disaster declaration after preliminary damage assessments revealed $17.8 million in costs and damages.
If granted by the President, the disaster declaration would provide assistance to townships, cities, counties, schools, and certain private not-for-profit organizations for uninsured and eligible storm-related damage to public infrastructure.
Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Debris Removal
  • Emergency Protective Services
  • Repair or replacement of  storm-damaged:
    • Roads and Bridges
    • Water control facilities
    • Buildings and equipment
    • Municipal utilities
    • Parks and recreational facilities

If the President declares a major disaster, FEMA will fund 75 percent of approved costs. Local and state governments are responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
The Governor’s letter also requests that the declaration include funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. All counties in the state would be eligible to apply for assistance under this program which provides funding to state and local governments and certain private not-for-profit organizations to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
Disaster Declaration Process

1.Initial Damage Assessment          

Following flash flooding and severe storms June 20-26, local officials, in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM), identified damage and impact to their communities
2. HSEM requests FEMA conduct preliminary damage assessment

Last week, teams from the affected counties, HSEM and FEMA conducted preliminary damage assessments. They viewed the damage and collected cost estimates from county officials. The teams reviewed local emergency response records. If the damage appears to exceed the statewide damage threshold of $7.26 million the process continues.
3.HSEM prepares governor’s request for a disaster declaration

Letter details the event and cites National Weather Service data. It must document factors that determine severity, magnitude and impact. It also documents what local officials did to respond to the emergency. Local input regarding impact to the community is gathered and incorporated into the letter. This includes the amount and type of damage, impact on infrastructure, impact on essential services, concentration of damage, level of insurance coverage, assistance available from other sources and if there is an imminent threat to public health and safety.
4.Governor submits the letter to the president through FEMA         

FEMA reviews and sends the letter with its recommendation to the president.