Dayton requests disaster funds for Freeborn County

Published 10:41 am Thursday, July 18, 2013

Freeborn and Faribault counties are one step closer to receiving federal assistance for damages sustained by severe storms in June.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday requesting a federal disaster declaration for 18 counties affected by the storms and flash flooding from June 20-26.

Mark Dayton

Mark Dayton

The storms resulted in debris and damage to public infrastructure and utilities, along with flooding to numerous homes.

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The letter came about a week after representatives from the state Homeland Security and Emergency Management division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were in Freeborn County conducting preliminary damage assessments.

Dayton’s letter stated there was a preliminary damage estimate of $17.8 million from all of the counties, including expenses such as debris removal, emergency protective services and repair or replacement of public infrastructure or municipal utilities.

The state threshold of damage was $7.26 million.

The letter also requests funding for the hazard mitigation grant program. Counties in the state would be eligible to apply for assistance under this program, which provides funding to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

If Obama declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund 75 percent of approved costs, while local and state governments would be responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

Other counties included in the letter were Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Fillmore, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin.