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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Bruce Gordon  651-201-7171
bruce.gordon@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2012
Northland Disaster Deadline Extended for Homeowners
Residents Get Extra Time to Apply for Loans; Assistance to Communities Progressing
ST. PAUL — Residents affected by the June flash flood in northeast Minnesota now have until January 31 to file an application for assistance under the Quick Start Disaster Recovery Program. This program, coordinated through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, provides a no-interest loan of up to $40,000 for home repair which is forgiven if the owner remains in the home for 10 years.
 
“I want to make sure that all residents who need help getting their homes to pre-flood condition take the time to sit down with one of our local administrators,” said Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of Minnesota Housing. “We all want the resources allocated by the legislature to be fully utilized, we just need people to reach out and let us know they need help.”

Minnesota Housing is just one of many Minnesota state agencies making progress to assist residents, business owners and communities in their recovery.   
The Minnesota Recovers Task Force, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), is working with state agencies to distribute funds included in the disaster relief bill signed by Governor Dayton on August 24, following a special session of the Minnesota Legislature. To date the task force has received 58 applications for $67 million in state disaster assistance.

“The Northland was hit hard by the June flood, but the people here are resilient and committed to restoring what was damaged,” DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman said. “The State of Minnesota has stood with the Northland since the day rains came, and we will continue to work with the affected communities through the recovery process.”
 

State Disaster Assistance

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

  • To date, 93 loans for $1.4 million are approved through the Quick Start Disaster Recovery Program.
  • Minnesota Housing has contracted with local administrators to work with residents to complete Quick Start applications:
    • Arrowhead Economic Development Agency—AEOA:
702 South 3rd Ave
Virginia, MN 55792
800-662-5711, Ext. 288 or
218-749-2912, Ext. 288
Counties/tribal lands served: Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Itasca, Cass, the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Lakes and Pines Community Action Council
1700 Maple Street E
Mora, MN 55051
800-832-6082 or 320-679-1800, Ext. 119
Counties/tribal lands served: Aitkin, Carlton, Crow Wing, Pine, the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • One Roof Community Housing
12 East 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55805
218-727-5372 Ext. 200
Area served: City of Duluth

Department of Natural Resources

  • Jay Cooke State Park has reopened with limited services. Additional repairs will be made within the park and road alignment and bridge reconstruction is needed adjacent to the park to restore convenient access.
  • Willard Munger Trail is stabilized to allow winter recreational use but extensive repairs will be done to return the trail to safe, year-round use.
  • Duluth Fisheries has repaired French River fish traps. The Knife River fish trap is under repair. 
  • A plan is underway for the debris and sediment removal funds and hazard mitigation dollars. The DNR expects to have available funding under contract with eligible applicants by mid-January.
 

Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Carlton, Cook and St. Louis counties and the city of Duluth have indicated they will submit applications requesting approximately $4.5 million in business loans for businesses in their communities.
  • The Public Facilities Authority is reviewing requests for infrastructure repair not covered by FEMA.

Minnesota Department of Transportation

  • MnDOT will use a combination of federal and state funds. It has spent $12 million to date and has reopened all but one damaged road. Among the projects completed:
    • The Highway 210 Thomson Bridge is rebuilt and reopened.
    • One half mile of  washed out pavement on Trunk Highway 2 between Proctor and Interstate 35 is reconstructed 
    • Trunk Highway 210 to the Jay Cooke State Park Headquarters is reopened.
    • Access is restored to the Minnesota Power and Light Facilities on Trunk Highway 210
 

Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources

  • The Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR) has allocated approximately $1million to local soil and water conservation districts for immediate flood recovery needs that posed an urgent health, safety or natural resource concern. 
  • In early 2013 (BWSR) will implement recommendations of the Minnesota Recovers Task Force and allocate an additional $3 million to local government organizations. This funding allocation targets high priority conservation projects such as stabilizing stream banks.

Department of Agriculture

  • $600,000 is being paid to  farmers for lost feed and forage, the replanting of damaged pasture and hay acres, repairs to fencing, equipment  and other agricultural structures, debris removal and clean-up. 
 

Federal Disaster Assistance

To date nearly $33 million in federal public assistance funds are obligated to repair public infrastructure including roads, bridges, sidewalks and public buildings. The funds are also used to reimburse communities for emergency services and debris removal. The state of Minnesota matches 25 percent of federal funds.

Governor Mark Dayton secured a major disaster declaration for Public Assistance July 6.  FEMA and HSEM opened a Joint Field Office (JFO) in Duluth to process public assistance applications from more than 300 counties, cities, townships, schools and certain not-for-profit organizations.
FEMA and HSEM staff members are transitioning from the Joint Field Office to another, smaller location to continue processing applications.
“The partnership between FEMA and HSEM formed immediately after the rain stopped falling,” says Kris Eide, HSEM Director. “That partnership, and the dedicated staff members assigned to process applications, is making sure financial assistance is provided to communities affected by this storm.”

Disaster Statistics

  • 1,700 homes were damaged in the disaster.
  • Of 1,100 homes included in a week-long damage assessment by teams from FEMA and HSEM:
    • 17 destroyed
    • 154 major damage
    • 419 minor damage
    • 479 affected
(terms are based on FEMA classifications)
  • Counties included in this disaster are: Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley, St. Louis and the Fond du Lace Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
  • 731 residents received information at Disaster Recovery Centers, established by HSEM and staffed by state agencies.
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov