ST. PAUL — Governor Mark Dayton secured a latest major disaster declaration following strong storms and flooding in June. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for 18 Minnesota counties: Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin.
Preliminary damage assessments determined the storms caused $17.8 million in damage to public infrastructure across the state. Communities in the affected counties are now eligible for federal assistance.
The major disaster declaration is for Public Assistance which covers uninsured eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships and certain private, not-for-profit organizations.
Preliminary damage estimates compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM) showed the following eligible amounts:
- Debris Removal - $5 million
- Emergency Protective Measures - $1.8 million
Permanent work to repair
- Roads and Bridges - $9 million
- Water Control Facilities - $1 million
- Buildings and Equipment - $243,474
- Utilities - $585,615
- Parks, Recreational Facilities and other items - $73,780
FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of approved costs. The 25 percent non-federal share is the responsibility of state and local governments.
This disaster declaration also includes funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This is assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in the state are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.
The storm system began with 5.6 inches of rain in Stevens County on June 20 and ended with 8.25 inches of rain in Wilkin County on June 26. Parts of the state saw record 48-hour rainfall amounts. One to two inch-per-hour rainfall caused flash flooding and mudslides in many locations. Thousands of trees were uprooted and fell on public buildings and roads. At the peak, 600,000 buildings were without electricity, making it the largest power outage in Minnesota history.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Homeland Security and Emergency Management helps Minnesotans prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. HSEM staff members are helping Minnesota communities recover from seven federally declared disasters from 2010 through 2012.
In FY2012, HSEM awarded 402 Homeland Security grants totaling $80 million to 300 local governments and other entities to prepare them for all hazards including terrorism.