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2011 Summer Storms and Tornadoes (DR-4009)


Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (DR-4009)

Incident Period

 July 1-11, 2011

Presidential Declaration Date

July 28, 2011   -  Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation

FEMA ID Number



Chisago County, Isanti County, Kanabec County, Kandiyohi County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, McLeod County, Meeker County, Mille Lacs County, Pine County, Pipestone County, Redwood County, Renville County, Stearns County, and Yellow Medicine County.
Tribal Governments
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
All counties in Minnesota eligible for Hazard Mitigation Assistance
For more information regarding local recovery activity and assistance for this incident please contact the specific county or tribal emergency manager.
County and Tribal Emergency Managers Contact Information

Total Cost (eligible)

Total:  $ 16,087,740 (as of 1/3/2013)
The FEMA Public Assistance Program is a 75% reimbursement program
The State of Minnesota is funding 100% of the non-federal share for this disaster declaration

Minnesota State Funding

Omnibus Tax Bill 2011, Article 10, Section 5 - Appropriation for disaster relief
Appropriated $9,000,000 to provide a match for FEMA disaster assistance to state agencies and political subdivisions for disaster recovery work related to the spring 2011 floods (DR-1982), the May 22, 2011, tornadoes in Hennepin and Anoka Counties(DR-1990), and the July 2011 tornadoes (DR-4009). $5,000,000 of the appropriation is reserved for the area of the spring flooding. Any unexpended portion of a 2010 appropriation to the Department of Agriculture for disaster assistance may be transferred to the Commissioner of Public Safety if it is needed to supplement the $9,000,000 appropriation.

Current Status

It is estimated that all applicants will receive their initial payments by the summer of 2012. All costs will be estimates until the final closeout is complete. 

Event Summary

On June 31, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported a warm and very moist air mass enveloped much of the Midwest.  On July 1, the air mass was characterized by temperatures in the 90s and dew points in the mid 70s.  A surface cool front was working slowly east, to focus or converge the moisture resulting in instability.  Stronger upper level winds between 10,000 and 30,000 feet moved into western Minnesota by later in the afternoon.  Thunderstorms which developed over southeast South Dakota into southwestern Minnesota that afternoon quickly organized and propagated northeast.
They evolved into a mesoscale convective system (MCS).  In particular, there was an evident area of broad rotation within this, making it a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV), which is an event that often lasts for hours.  The MCV moved along this front draped from southwestern Minnesota to northwestern Wisconsin. (See image below) This was the swath that experienced areas of major wind damage on July 1.  The damage was attributed primarily to severe winds, although 6 tornadoes were found on the later NWS surveys.
NWS surveys in Minnesota revealed that several hundred trees were snapped or uprooted.  Numerous utility poles were also destroyed.  Large grain storage bins were damaged or destroyed by the winds.  There were reported damages to other agricultural structures as well.  Large crop losses were also reported due to wind and hail.
This nearly stationary system continued to develop severe weather across Minnesota for several days, culminating in a severe wind event on July 10 which resulted in major damage to the City of Sauk Centre.