Minnesota Delegation: Administration Extends Disaster Declaration

Minnesota Delegation: Administration Extends Disaster Declaration to 26 Additional Communities Impacted by Flooding

After successfully urging the President last month to issue a Major Disaster Declaration to assist eight Minnesota communities in flood repair efforts, delegation advocated for the addition of other damaged communities

Delegation also announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Minnesota $5 million to repair roads damaged caused by flooding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Collin Peterson, John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, and Rick Nolan announced today that the Administration has extended its Major Disaster Declaration to include 26 additional Minnesota communities impacted by devastating flooding this summer. After successfully urging the President last month to issue a Major Disaster Declaration to assist eight Minnesota communities in their flood repair efforts, the delegation advocated for the addition of other damaged communities. Today’s announcement brings the total number of Minnesota communities that will receive federal assistance up to 34.

The delegation also announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Minnesota a $5 million statewide grant to repair roads damaged from recent flooding.

“As we’ve toured affected communities, we’ve seen firsthand the damage these storms have caused. From the Canadian border to the Iowa border, heavy rains have washed out roads, bridges and culverts and damaged wastewater systems,” the members said in their letter to the President calling for the disaster declaration. “After disaster strikes Minnesota, we hit the ground running and do not stop until we have the resources in place to ensure that communities can recover. We will continue to push for all available assistance at the federal level until the recovery is complete.”

The additional communities the President added to his declaration are: Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Dodge, Faribault, Koochiching, La 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 Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Prairie Island Indian Community Tribes for Public Assistance.

The declaration allows for federal assistance of 75 percent of the cost of emergency work and the repair or replacement of infrastructure. 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.

The President originally declared a major disaster for Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock Counties.

Bruce C. Barnum
Field Representative | U.S. Senator Al Franken
208 S. Minnesota Ave. #6 |St. Peter, MN 56082
Office: 507.931.5813 | Mobile: 651.964.5531

Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Earlier this month, the City of Gaylord met with FEMA representatives and the State Representative from Homeland Security and Emergency Management to present damage information to public infrastructure/facilities and Gaylord’s private property and business owners. The meeting was simply an initial estimate to assess the damages in our community. From submitted documentation, I presented approximately $40,000 in public and several personal property damages from the June 19th Flashflood Event. The total assessment from all jurisdictions within the County will be brought to the Governor, who will use that information to request a disaster declaration from the President.

The State Representative discussed personal property damages and explained that property and business owners are encouraged to repair/replace their damaged property before receiving other forms of financial assistance. The sequential steps for an individual to follow:

1) Contact personal property insurance carrier;

2) Seek assistance through volunteer organizations such as the Red Cross or United Way (call 211) for manpower assistance to remove carpet, sanitize the basement, cut out paneling/sheetrock, etc.

· The State Representative stated that FEMA will not provide individual property/business owner assistance until a threshold is met: 580 homes destroyed statewide.

· The State Representative offered two other useful tips:

1) Teachers and Veterans: There is grant money for you to assist in property repairs.

· Veterans, their families, and surviving spouses may be eligible for disaster relief grants up to $1,000 for expenditures dated no earlier than June 11, 2014 and no later than August 31, 2014, and applications must be postmarked by no later than September 30, 2014.

· Veterans should contact their respective County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to apply for a Disaster Relief Grant, or call 1-888-LINKVET (546-5838) for assistance finding the location and phone number of their CVSO.

· The State Representative will forward information regarding grants for teachers through the MN Department of Education.

2) Make sure you test your furnace and other appliances now, then again in two months, and again before the winter season. If problems arise, these replacement costs could be covered through your insurance or other financial assistance measures.

The next step is to wait. We will be contacted by our County Emergency Manager regarding the next meeting date/time.

Homeowner Insurance Information

Below is some information for homeowners with flood insurance claims that have been rejected.

“Everyone who has had a claim rejected is encouraged to call 1-800-657-3602 which is the Department of Commerce’s Consumer Response Team hotline.” That number is contained in the packet.

Commerce Disaster Packet 2014

Thanks.

Bryan Gorman
Sibley County Emergency Management
Direct: (507) 237-4109
Cell: (612) 759-1792
Fax: (507) 237-4401