Minnesota has expanded its request for federal disaster assistance to cover more than a third of the state, adding 30 more counties and two tribal governments to the list of regions still struggling to rebuild after the June and July floods.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to declare federal disasters in areas ranging from the Twin Cities to the Canadian and Iowa borders. Damage assessment teams have combed the state for weeks, tallying up the damage from the storms that washed out roads and dams, swamped cropland and neighborhoods, and pushed many of the state's rivers over their banks.
On Tuesday, the state requested federal disaster assistance for: Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Hennepin, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lyon, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Ramsey, Redwood, Rice, Roseau, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Todd, Wadena, Waseca, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine counties, as well as the tribal governments of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Prairie Island Indian Community.
Eight counties are already federal disaster areas -- Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville and Rock Counties. The designation makes it easier for local governments and nonprofits to secure federal aid, both with cleanup and with mitigation efforts to try to prevent future flooding.