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Dakota County left out of federal flood disaster relief, but state will pick up most of the tab

When the feds again denied the Dakota County request for flood aid, the governor authorized the state’s new disaster assistance to kick in.

Thirty-four Minnesota counties qualified for federal emergency assistance after the heavy rains and flood damage in June and early July, but FEMA has, once again, denied aid for Dakota County.

After an appeal of the original denial was turned down this week, Gov. Mark Dayton authorized state aid for the cities in Dakota County affected by the storms.

The problem: Federal officials say that a landslide in Mendota Heights wasn’t the direct result of the storms, even though state officials insist it was. Without that damage, the county’s overall damage falls below the federal threshold for the damage assistance.

So the state’s new emergency assistance law, passed earlier this year to help communities affected by natural disasters, will be used to help the cities in Dakota County. The state will provide 75 percent of the funds to repair damages, currently estimated at $1.3 million.

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The governor authorized the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department to allocate the necessary assistance from the state fund and possibly provide more, if further covered damages are assessed.