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It’s hard to believe that just a week after northern Minnesota saw almost a foot of snow, large portions of the state are now preparing for our first severe thunderstorms of the season. The Twin Cities National Weather Service is forecasting multiple rounds of heavy rain and the possibility for large hail. The system moves into the state Friday afternoon and will stick around through Saturday. The best way to stay safe is to be in the know. Make sure you’re subscribed to personal weather alerts on your mobile devices. Invest in a NOAA Weather Radio. And practice your sheltering plans today. Learn how to be prepared for emergencies in our digital world.
More than 32 million dollars and counting. That is the estimated damage to public property and infrastructure—like roads, bridges and utilities-- following severe weather and flooding in March and April. HSEM has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct preliminary damage assessments in four tribal nations and 50 counties. Teams from HSEM and FEMA will begin meeting with local emergency managers on May 7. The process will likely take the entire month. Teams will document eligible damages for Governor Tim Walz to request a major disaster declaration. Learn more about the preliminary damage assessment process here.
Disaster assistance funds are heading to St. Louis County—thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Tim Walz on April 1. The bill appropriated $10 million to the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account (DACA) after funds were depleted following an active severe weather season in 2018. St. Louis County received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for a fall wind storm that led to $11.5 million in significant flooding and coastline damages. This approved legislation enables HSEM to allocate money to Duluth for that disaster. After that money is transferred out of the account, Minnesota will have about $7.5 million available for ongoing and future disasters. Gov. Walz recommends additional funding of $10 million for DACA for the next two fiscal years. Read more about the disaster declaration process in Minnesota.
It’s hard to believe, but as Minnesota counties deal with flooding this year, many are still recovering from last year’s wet spring and summer. Now the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) is offering business, small agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofits Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Minnesota. The loans are available in Blue Earth, Faribault, Jackson, Martin and Watonwan counties for financial losses sustained during excessive rain and flooding between April 15 and August 17 last year. Loan amounts can go up to $2 million. The SBA will determine eligibility based on the applicant. If you think you may qualify, apply for a loan here.
Video Description: State and federal leaders discuss preparations for 2019 spring flooding in Minnesota.