FEMA rejects Duluth flood aid request

The Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s request for more relief funding after June’s flooding in northern Minnesota.

Dayton had asked FEMA to provide funds to help individuals pay for clean-up efforts on private property, such as homes or businesses. FEMA has already provided assistance for public property clean-up, but denied Dayton’s individual assistance request on Wednesday.

“It has been determined that damage to dwellings, in this event was not of such severity as to warrant Individual Assistance,” FEMA administrator Craig Fugate wrote in a letter to Dayton.

A spokesman said, “The governor is very disappointed in FEMA’s decision, and is currently working with state agencies to explore next steps.”

President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration for 13 Minnesota counties earlier this month, opening the door for federal assistance, but with today’s order, FEMA has made matching funds available for public clean-up only.

Update: Dayton says the state will appeal the ruling. “I believe this was the wrong decision, and I am deeply disappointed.  We will begin working on an appeal immediately,” he said in a statement.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com

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