Scott County in line for federal flood help

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 22, 2014 - 2:29 PM

Meanwhile, volunteers and businesses are offering cleanup and debris-removal assistance.

 

Scott County and its townships and cities have an estimated $2.6 million in damage from the June floods that is eligible for federal emergency assistance.

That’s the word passed on to the County Board, and it applies only to help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The estimate covers some roads, shoulders, culverts and debris removal.

It does not cover damage to state highways, covered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

Millions more in damage from the deluge happened in the county’s uninsured public infrastructure: parks and trails, bridges, the Watershed District and electric and utility co-ops.

Assistance in repairing those will come from FEMA, the FHA, the state and other sources, said Chris Weldon, the county’s emergency management and communications director.

The final dollar amount on damages, and what assistance will come, could take weeks or even months, Weldon said.

When President Obama signs an emergency disaster declaration, FEMA will provide 75 percent of the repair costs of what it deems eligible; Gov. Mark Dayton has said he hopes to call a special session of the Legislature and provide coverage for the other 25 percent.

After the second wettest June on record, Scott County declared a local emergency on June 20. On June 23, that emergency was extended to 30 days.

Prior Lake declared an emergency on July 2, also good for 30 days, Weldon told commissioners.

Blakeley Township was evacuated after roads collapsed or were closed by landslides, making it impossible for residents to get to their homes, either on foot or by car. There was no electricity or phone service.

The Belle Plaine Fire Department used ATVs to shuttle residents back and forth.

Power was restored on June 24; phone service returned on July 1.

County Road 6 reopened June 30 and the bridge over the Minnesota River in Sibley County reopened shortly thereafter, allowing Blakeley residents to return to their homes.

Volunteers helped some residents with basement cleanup and removing sand from their yards. A private towing company offered to pick up appliances damaged in the flood.

A no-wake restriction is still in place on all lakes in Scott County, except Spring Lake, Weldon said.

There was damage in all of the county’s cities and townships: Shakopee, Belle Plaine and Jordan, and Cedar Lake, Belle Plaine, Blakeley, Credit River, Sand Creek, Helena, Jackson, Louisville and St. Lawrence.

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