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Winter Driving Season is Back

Graphic with list of winter survival kit items
It happens every year, yet many of us are still surprised by it. The two inches of snow many Minnesotans received was enough to create problems on highways and interstates. The State Patrol reported 115 collisions statewide during the morning commute on Friday, Nov. 9. Driving in the winter means giving yourself extra time to:  

  • Clear snow and ice from your vehicle.
  • Slow down.
  • Avoid travel if conditions are poor.
Review this winter safety checklist. Be sure to check road conditions, increase your distance, and give snowplows extra room so they can clear the roads safely. Remember, help may be delayed when road conditions are poor and first responders are answering a flurry of calls—even in the metro.  A winter survival kit can keep you safe while you wait. Use this fact sheet to assemble one today.

Additional County Included in Federal Disaster Declaration

Radar Image of Storm that impacted Kanabec County on July 12Kanabec County will now receive disaster assistance funds for damages to public property and infrastructure following June and July’s severe storms. The addition to the presidential disaster declaration comes after an appeal made by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Kanabec County was included in the original request made by HSEM this summer, but FEMA denied that request, saying that the damages came from a separate storm system. In the appeal, the Twin Cities National Weather Service provided a radar loop that proved the storm on July 11 was the same one that hit Kanabec County in the early morning hours of July 12.

In an initial damage assessment, Kanabec County identified $800,000 in eligible damages from that storm. The disaster declaration now covers 28 counties.

Governor Dayton Secures Major Disaster Declaration

Image of flooding in Windom
Twenty-seven counties and three tribal nations in Minnesota will receive federal assistance after the president issued a major disaster declaration on September 5. The funds will reimburse counties, cities, and tribes for repairs to damaged public property; as well as response costs related to severe storms between June 15 and July 11. Governor Dayton requested the federal assistance last month.

The following locations are eligible for disaster assistance: Aitkin, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Itasca, Jackson, Koochiching, Lake, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Rock, St. Louis, Sibley, and Watonwan Counties, as well as the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Nation, and White Earth Nation.

Joint federal-state-local preliminary damage assessments found more than $21 million dollars in damage sustained to public infrastructure. HSEM will now work with FEMA to fund 75 percent of approved costs. Under state law, Minnesota will pay the 25 percent non-federal share out of the State Disaster Contingency Account.

Review the Disaster Declaration Process.

Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).