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Houston County to Receive State Disaster Aid

Gov. Dayton tours storm damage in Houston CountyHouston County will receive state disaster assistance following torrential rains in August that led to mudslides, road washouts and major damage to Como Falls Park in Hokah. Last month, Governor Mark Dayton visited Hokah to view the damage. Now, he’s approved the county’s request to be reimbursed for damage repairs and response costs related to the flooding. An initial damage assessment identified more than $705,000 in eligible damages to public property in infrastructure. This includes emergency measures to stabilize the eroding riverbank to protect homes at the top of the hill and route a creek back to its original course.

Under Minnesota law, the state will cover 75 percent of eligible costs and counties are responsible for the remaining 25 percent. Read Gov. Dayton’s news release.

Counties Reporting Damages to HSEM

​Five days following a severe weather outbreak, HSEM staff continue to receive damage reports from Minnesota counties with tornado or straight-line wind damages. Much of the impacts are to private property, such as insured homes and businesses, but communities are still assessing impacts to public property and infrastructure. 

To date, state assistance has been limited to Goodhue County, which received support from the Minnesota Department of Health and Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) to relocate 57 residents away from a nursing home without power to care facilities in neighboring communities. 

The Twin Cities National Weather Service confirmed 10 tornado touchdowns on Sept. 20. In the days since, HSEM staff have been in touch with emergency managers in affected communities to determine if they may be eligible for assistance through the State Disaster Contingency Account. ​

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.

Small Business Administration Offers Loans for Storm Damages

Flooding near home on Lake ShetekDisaster assistance is now available for Minnesota property owners who sustained damages from severe storms between June 15 and July 12. A U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declaration covers Lyon and Redwood counties, along with the surrounding counties of: Brown, Cottonwood, Lincoln, Murray, Pipestone, Renville, Yellow Medicine, and the Lower and Upper Sioux tribal nations.

The declaration means owners in those counties can apply for low-interest disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged property.

The application deadline for physical property damage is Oct. 29. The deadline for economic injury applications is May 28, 2019. This news release includes more information about the SBA disaster assistance and the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers. This fact sheet contains helpful details.

Featured Video

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