Local officials present flood damage estimates to FEMA

Published 10:28 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

Local officials presented damage estimates from last month’s flooding to Federal Emergency Management officials in Albert Lea Wednesday in the hope of securing funding for cleanup efforts.

Estimates were given with FEMA and state emergency management officials visiting the region this week to assess public infrastructure flooding damage.

Public infrastructure damage in Freeborn County is estimated at $1.7 million and is expected to grow slightly, said Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever.

He expects more information on when FEMA assistance will be available to Freeborn County to be known in the coming weeks.

Bancroft Township supervisor Steven Overgaard said the township was attempting to recover approximately $17,000 in damage and additional work incurred in flood cleanup. 

City, county and state officials presented damage estimates to state and federal emergency management officials Wednesday in the hope of securing federal funding. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

City, county and state officials presented damage estimates to state and federal emergency management officials Wednesday in the hope of securing federal funding. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Despite the cost, Overgaard said flooding was limited in the township.

“We came through it actually pretty well,” he said.

He credited limited damage to work the township has done in correcting problem spots identified in previous storms and the storm’s direction.

Overgaard said the worst damage he observed in the township was a washed-out road at the residence of the township’s road manager.

Statewide damage estimates from flooding need to exceed $7.6 million for FEMA funding to be secured.

Freeborn County Engineer Sue Miller said the county would request more than $100,000 for road and bridge damage from the flood.

She said damage was less than what has been sustained in previous storms for the county, and credited armoring and protecting spots on roads and bridges that were damaged from previous flooding.

“We are far better off than we have been in past events,” she said.

Miller said this would be the ninth FEMA event she has seen in her tenure.

Nearly 300 properties in Freeborn County had reported flooding damage as of Monday.

Albert Lea City Engineer Steven Jahnke said the city planned to request $280,000 in federal funding for regrading and re-rocking gravel roads, replacing riprap and reimbursing cost incurred from extra police and utility department work.

Jahnke said he has heard from FEMA officials that the $7.6 million threshold will be reached.

Emergency management officials will be in Faribault today to assess damage.

The assessments do not cover damages to individual properties.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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