Lake of the Woods and Beltrami Counties added to Disaster Declaration
Lake of the Woods and Beltrami counties were among the 24 counties and two tribal governments that were added to the federal disaster declaration issued by President Obama for areas in the state affected by severe storms that began June 11. The president earlier issued a disaster declaration for eight Minnesota counties.
Governor Dayton on July 21 requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 51 Minnesota counties.
“I urge anyone who was adversely affected by the series of storms in June to take utilize the aid and help being offered by both the state and federal government,” said Representative Roger Erickson (DFL-Baudette). “You and your family are not alone. Your neighbors, your state and your country stand ready to help you get back on your feet."
Earlier this week, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) Director Kris Eide requested that FEMA add 30 Minnesota counties to the disaster declaration; information and data regarding six of those counties is still being reviewed by FEMA.
The 24 counties and two tribal governments added to the declaration and approved for federal assistance are: Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Dodge, Faribault, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Redwood, Rice, Roseau, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Todd, Wadena, Waseca and Yellow Medicine counties and the tribal governments of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Prairie Island Indian Community.
Requests for Dakota, Hennepin, Lyon, Ramsey, Watonwan and Wright counties are still under review by FEMA.
Governor Dayton originally secured a major disaster declaration for Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville and Rock counties.
“I appreciate the quick response of the federal government,” Governor Dayton said. “This aid will provide needed relief to 32 Minnesota counties and two tribal governments. I will continue advocating strongly for the inclusion of the six additional counties that sustained significant damage during this summer’s flooding.”
The approved counties are eligible for two categories of federal and state aid:
- · Public Assistance: Assistance to state and local government and certain private not for profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. This applies within the counties in the disaster area.
- · Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Assistance to state and local government and certain private not for profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in the state of Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.
Under a presidential disaster declaration, FEMA will fund 75 percent of approved costs. The state of Minnesota will fund the non-federal share. Eligible work can include debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.
Counties included in the federal disaster declaration will engage in the following process with state and federal emergency management officials:
- · Applicant Briefing: The Department of Public Safety will hold informational meetings for local officials in affected communities. These meetings will explain the process of receiving federal aid and provide preliminary paperwork for applicants to complete. All requests for public assistance must be filed with the state within 30 days after the area is designated eligible for assistance.
- · Kickoff Meeting: FEMA will return to the affected communities to meet with each aid applicant to develop an action plan for disaster recovery.
- · Recovery Project Planning: FEMA and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will develop a project worksheet for each project that clearly defines the work to be done and the projected costs.