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Flood damage assessments start in Minnesota

Published 9:46am Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ST. PAUL — Teams from the state and federal emergency management offices are headed to four Minnesota counties to start adding up the damage from recent storms and flash flooding.

The surveys were starting today and Wednesday in Jackson, Nobles, Renville and Rock counties. More counties will get similar assessments once floodwaters recede.

Heavy, sustained storms have caused millions of dollars in public and private property damage from Minnesota’s northern tip to the far south. Along with local officials, the assessments involve the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They are used to help determine eligibility for federal assistance, mainly for public infrastructure damage.

The assessments must be done before a presidential disaster request is submitted by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Storms have washed out corn and soybean crops in parts of Minnesota.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop report, 53 percent of Minnesota’s farm fields have surplus topsoil moisture, and 49 percent have surplus subsoil moisture.

The report said crop conditions declined during the week due to excess moisture and standing water. Many farmers have been unable to get equipment into their fields.

Most crops are in the ground, but 35 percent of the corn and 41 percent of soybeans are in very poor, poor or fair condition.

State Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson has toured some of the areas in southern Minnesota with crop damage. He said it’s still too early to know how many acres across the state have been affected.