Dayton to Obama after statewide floods: Help!

Gov. Mark Dayton has officially written to President Barack Obama asking for federal emergency aid after a slew of storms caused heavy damage throughout Minnesota.

The letter (PDF) requests designation as a major disaster area after the rains that caused historic summer flooding.

“Initial local damage assessments from 31 counties tallied more than $55,000,000 in response costs and uninsured damages to public infrastructure,” the letter said. “The State of Minnesota needs federal assistance to recover from this weather event.”

Officials said that if the president declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund 75 percent of approved costs and the state will pay the 25 percent non-federal share, under legislation signed this year.

Assistance would go to townships, cities, counties, schools, and certain private not-for-profit organizations for uninsured and eligible storm-related damage to public infrastructure for such things as:

  • Debris Removal
  • Emergency Protective Services
  • Repair or replacement of storm-damaged:
    • Roads and Bridges
    • Water control facilities
    • Buildings and equipment
    • Municipal utilities
    • Parks and recreational facilities

After the letter was sent, the entire state delegation — Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen and Rick Nolan — urged the Administration to act favorably. They wrote:

“As we’ve toured affected communities in recent weeks, we’ve seen firsthand the damage these storms have caused. After disaster strikes Minnesota, we hit the ground running and do not stop until we have the resources in place to ensure that communities can recover. We urge you to make the federal government a full partner in that effort.”

Also today, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Minnesota will receive up to $5 million in “Quick Release” emergency relief funds to help fix the state’s flood-damaged roads. This is in addition to $750,000 in federal transportation funds the state received on June 23.

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