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FEMA officials to visit to assess flood damage

Published 9:54am Tuesday, July 1, 2014

State and federal officials will be in Albert Lea next Tuesday to hear about preliminary damage to public infrastructure from city, county and township leaders.

Representatives with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Emergency Management will be at the Freeborn County shop at 9 a.m., said Freeborn County Emergency Management Director Rich Hall.

The teams are traveling around the state to compile the costs of damages for all of the counties affected by the severe storms beginning June 11.

Albert Lea received more than 7 inches of rain from the storms, leading to high water levels in both Fountain and Albert Lea lakes, closed streets, some homes with sewage backups and farmland that was under water.

The preliminary damage assessment is the first step in determining if Gov. Mark Dayton will make a request for a presidential disaster declaration. The program includes assistance to local communities for the cost of response and eligible repairs to public infrastructure.

If the damage exceeds the federally determined damage threshold of $7.3 million statewide, the process continues.

As of last week, damage estimates in Freeborn County alone had passed $600,000, and the number was likely to rise. The county must have $108,000 to be included in a potential disaster declaration.

Freeborn County was one of 35 counties included in a state of emergency given by Dayton after the storms.