WASHINGTON — Three Minnesotans in Congress are calling on President Barack Obama to declare parts of Hennepin and Anoka counties federal disaster areas after the May 22 storms that caused millions of dollars in damage there.
In a Saturday letter to Obama, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. Keith Ellison wrote that the scale of the disaster — which killed two, left at least 174 homes uninhabitable and damaged a water filtration plant — calls for a disaster declaration. Such a distinction would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for parts of approved repair and replacement projects.
A preliminary federal damage assessment found the storm caused at least $16.3 million in damage to public infrastructure, in addition to the damage caused to private homes and businesses. Minneapolis officials said last week that the storm damage is likely to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Last week, Obama pledged aid for the area, as well as for Joplin, Mo., which was hit by a devastating twister the same day.
Devin Henry is an intern in MinnPost’s Washington Bureau.