President Obama signed a disaster declaration for eight Minnesota counties to assist in recovery from the June storms and floods, according to the White House.
The declaration makes Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock counties eligible for federal funding to aid the state and local governments in recovery.
"(Federal Emergency Management officials) said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed," the White House said in a news release.
According to Gov. Mark Dayton's office, "the most recent preliminary damage assessment figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows $37.1 million in eligible expenses:
- Debris removal: $3.2 million
- Emergency protective measures: $3.7 million
- Roads and bridges $16.1 million
- Water control facilities $5 million
- Buildings and equipment: $721,000
- Utilities: $3.2 million
- Parks, recreational facilities and other facilities: $5.2 million"
The federal government will pay 75 percent of approved costs. The state will pick up the rest.
Members of the Minnesota congressional delegation jointly applauded the administration's move on the disaster declaration.
“Weeks of torrential downpour this summer triggered devastating flooding that inflicted severe damage all across our state,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a news release. “This disaster declaration will deliver critical funding and support to communities impacted by flooding and help our state rebuild and recover.”
The release, issued jointly with Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Democratic Reps. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson, also said: 'The declaration also makes all counties in Minnesota eligible for hazard mitigation funding on a cost-sharing basis to prevent future damage from natural hazards."