Oct. 11 is tentative date for flood special session

Legislators will head back to St. Paul on Oct. 11, it appears, to pass relief legislation following the rare fall floods that caused severe damage in parts of southern Minnesota.

Although Gov. Tim Pawlenty set the date for the special session today, it’s still tentative, depending on whether a federal disaster declaration is issued in time.

Preliminary damage estimates have been set at about $64.1 million, and the federal government is expected to cover 75 percent of eligible costs, the governor said.

Legislators will presumably pass laws to cover the remaining 25 percent of the flood damage costs in a one-day session.

Federal individual assistance was requested for Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Goodhue, Martin, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Watonwan counties. FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program helps homeowners and renters affected by a disaster with housing needs and necessary expenses.

Public assistance is requested for Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan and Winona counties. FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities.

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