Declaration delivers federal disaster relief for flood-damaged communities
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, following a July 9 request from Governor Mark Dayton, President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Minnesota after widespread flooding across the state. The President’s declaration will deliver federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms and flooding.
Since the flooding began on June 11, Governor Dayton has visited 14 flood-affected counties across Minnesota – surveying damage and coordinating the state’s response efforts with local officials. To ensure Minnesotans received federal assistance quickly, the Governor directed the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to rapidly begin preliminary damage assessments. This move allowed Governor Dayton to make a request for a presidential disaster declaration quickly, and allowed the state to secure $5 million in Federal Highway emergency funds to repair flood damaged roads.
Currently, eight counties (Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock) are included under the Presidential Declaration – this number is expected to increase as new damage assessments are submitted. The most recent preliminary damage assessment figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows $37.1 million in eligible expenses:
FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of approved costs. Under legislation signed by Governor Dayton in 2014, the State of Minnesota will pay the non-federal share. Eligible work includes debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads, power poles, buildings, utilities and recreation areas. Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) disaster recovery staff will work with all eligible applicants to process requests for assistance.
Types of Aid Available
The Presidential Declaration makes two types of federal aid available to Minnesota communities for flood and storm damage recovery:
Public Assistance Aid – Assistance to state and local government and certain private not for profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. This applies within counties in the disaster area.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program – Assistance to state and local government and certain private not for profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.
Next Steps for Flood-Damaged Communities
Now that a Presidential Disaster has been declared, flood-damaged communities will engage in the following process with state and federal emergency management officials.