Minnesota Governor Submits Federal Disaster Request for Floods

July 2, 2012

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sent in a federal disaster request Friday detailing more than $100 million in flood damage to public infrastructure and said he expects to call state lawmakers into special session in late July or early August.

Dayton said he hopes to hear back on the disaster request within two weeks. It aims to unlock federal money to help local governments fix roads, schools and other public assets after intense rains soaked northeastern Minnesota and communities south of the Twin Cities. Combined, the preliminary damage estimate stands at $108 million.

If the federal request is granted, the state would need to approve matching money for a quarter of the cost of the public repairs, the governor said.

“There is no question there will be a special session,” Dayton said.

Dayton said he has been in talks with legislative leaders about a special session that would be limited to flood relief.

Dayton said there would be a separate federal request made on behalf of small businesses and homeowners coping with significant damage.

As many as 10 inches of rain pounded the Duluth area over two days last week, breaking a more than century-old record. That torrent came just after a weather system resulted in flooding in portions of Dakota, Goodhue and Sibley counties.

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