Minnesota officials are seeking federal help — including a disaster declaration — as the state begins picking up the pieces after a week of riots over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd
On Friday, Joe Kelly, the state’s director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, gave an early estimate of at least $27 million in damages across the Twin Cities metro area. But, citing ongoing local damage assessments, Kelly wrote that he expected that number to go higher.
In Minneapolis, hit hardest, local assessments are coming in at up to $150 million.
In a letter Friday, Kelly asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help conduct a joint assessment of damages in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties that would help determine public assistance. Kelly noted Friday that the low-end figure of $27 million was three times higher than the state’s indicator for public assistance needs.
Steve Grove, the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s commissioner, told lawmakers Friday the state is working with Minneapolis and St. Paul officials — as well as the state’s congressional delegation — on pursuing a disaster declaration to free up more resources.
As of Friday, at least 67 businesses have been completely destroyed by fire and nearly 500 across the Twin Cities experienced vandalism or looting, according to a Star Tribune database. Businesses along a 5-mile stretch of Lake Street in Minneapolis and a 1-mile stretch of University Avenue in St. Paul’s Midway area experienced some of the heaviest damage.