Bipartisanship: Entire MN delegation joins in request for FEMA flood protection assistance

WASHINGTON — With forecasts of heavy flooding this spring, Minnesota’s congressional delegation joined today in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), asking for help to “plan, prepare, and coordinate flood protection efforts in advance of the spring flooding.”

The letter was co-signed by the entire delegation; both senators and all eight representatives.

A total of 31 counties were declared federal disaster areas last year following floods, and this year’s forecast suggests that it could be worse in 2011.

“As Minnesota prepares for potential for devastating flooding across much of the state this spring, we ask for your immediate assistance to plan, prepare, and coordinate flood protection efforts to facilitate FEMA’s timely response to any damage once the water recedes,” the group wrote.

The letter is reprinted in its entirety below: 

March 15, 2011

Dear Administrator Fugate:

As Minnesota prepares for the potential for devastating flooding across much of the state this spring, we ask for your immediate assistance to plan, prepare, and coordinate flood protection efforts to facilitate FEMA’s timely response to any damage once the water recedes.

Last year, above average rainfall, an untimely melting of snow, and a steady stream of severe weather resulted in the Red River, the Minnesota River, and the Mississippi River reaching major flood stage and devastating communities across Minnesota.  As a result, President Obama declared 31 counties in Minnesota as disaster areas resulting from the spring 2010 floods.  Communities across these river valleys launched an unprecedented effort to protect homes, businesses and schools from record flooding.  Residents acted heroically to protect not only their own homes, but the homes of their neighbors and community landmarks. 

Unfortunately, the National Weather Service’s most recent outlook for spring shows that regions across Minnesota are again facing the strong possibility of major flood events.  Specifically, there is a 50 percent chance that the Red River of the North in Moorhead-Fargo will rise to 38.8 feet, and a 20 percent chance the River will rise to 41.9 feet, which is over one foot higher than the 2009 historical event.  Further north, East Grand Forks-Grand Forks has a 50 percent chance that the Red River will rise to 50.4 feet, which is five feet higher than last year.  Along the Mississippi River, the latest projects show at least a 50 percent likelihood that the water will rise significantly above last year’s level in Aitkin, St. Cloud, and St. Paul.  Communities along the Minnesota River are also preparing for rising water with a 50 percent chance that the water reaches nearly the same levels as last year near New Ulm, Mankato and Jordan.   These same communities devastated by last year’s flooding are now preparing for yet another flood event.

Thank for your consideration of our request.  These communities need and deserve the attention of our federal agencies.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by chuck holtman on 03/16/2011 - 11:27 am.

    Everyone enjoys a little socialism now and then.

  2. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 03/16/2011 - 11:41 am.

    How can the GOP delegation be in support of this. Flooding is as predictable in most of these places as spring follows the winter. This year we have a bit more predicted that usual, but if something happens every couple years, it should not be a surprise!

    Do they not think that private insurance should cover these inevitable losses? Isn’t federal flood aid socialism – spreading the costs of private losses onto the backs of taxpayers?

    Where is the Tea Party on this?

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