Minnesota Governor Makes Formal Federal Disaster Aid Request

July 14, 2014

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton cited more than $55 million in public response costs and infrastructure damage in a formal application Wednesday for federal disaster aid stemming from June’s widespread flooding, mudslides and high winds.

Dayton made the request in a letter to President Barack Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In it, Dayton notes that Minnesota recorded its wettest June on record and that flooding affected 55 of the state’s 87 counties.

“Disaster assistance allowed for under the Stafford Act is clearly warranted,” Dayton wrote. “Without it, and given the heavy burden of previous disasters, Minnesotans will struggle to return their communities to normalcy.”

Minnesota’s full congressional delegation joined in its own letter to urge support of Minnesota’s request.

The request aims to free up money to fix public assets, remove debris and cover the costs of emergency response. Not all of the damage is eligible, but so far state and federal assessments have documented $10.8 million that should be. It includes major damage to a wastewater treatment plant in Carver County, where flash floods caused the system to fail and sewage to back up. Damaged bridges and roadways are still disrupting travel near Henderson.

If the disaster request is approved, Minnesota would be required to put up 25 cents for every 75 cents in federal assistance. The state has a $3 million emergency fund, but lawmakers could need a special session to allocate more money if that account dries up.

Separately, Dayton announced that Minnesota would get up to $5 million in federal highway dollars to fix some flood-damaged roads.

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