Two dozen Minnesota counties and two tribal nations have been officially declared federal disaster areas as they work to clean up in the aftermath of early summer floods.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency expanded its disaster declaration for the state Friday to 24 counties and two tribal governments. Conditions in six other counties are still under FEMA review, including the Twin Cities region.
Heavy rains and flash floods pounded much of the state in June and July, flooding homes and crops, washing away bridges and infrastructure and causing millions of dollars in damage. A federal disaster declaration, issued only to hardest-hit regions, allows FEMA to shoulder 75 percent of the cleanup cost, and makes it easier for state and local governments and nonprofits to get access to assistance and to hazard mitigation funds to prevent future flooding.
The new disaster declaration includes: 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.
The state had requested federal disaster assistance for 30 counties, but FEMA is still reviewing the requests for Dakota, Hennepin, Lyon, Ramsey, Watonwan, and Wright.
FEMA had issued a major disaster declaration for eight other counties on June 11: Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville and Rock.