Governor Mark Dayton announced Sept. 5, that he has secured a Major Disaster Declaration that will provide federal funds to aid in emergency relief for 27 counties and three tribal nations in Minnesota. Governor Dayton sent a letter to President Donald Trump last month requesting the declaration after communities around the state were impacted by severe storms and flooding between June 15 and July 12, 2018. The White House issued a news release last week announcing the federal government’s Major Disaster Declaration.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal public assistance funds to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by recent severe storms. Under legislation signed by Governor Dayton in 2014, the State of Minnesota will deliver aid for the 25 percent non-federal share.
Following this summer’s severe weather and flooding, Governor Dayton visited eight different storm-affected counties with Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly and Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, surveying damage and coordinating the state’s response efforts with local officials. To ensure Minnesotans received proper federal assistance quickly, Governor Dayton directed the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to immediately begin preliminary damage assessments.
Minnesota counties and tribal nations covered under the Major Disaster Declaration include: Aitkin, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Itasca, Jackson, Koochiching, Lake, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Rock, St. Louis, Sibley and Watonwan counties, as well as the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation.
The Major Disaster Declaration, and a disaster declaration recently announced by the Small Business Administration, make several types of federal aid available to Minnesota communities for flood and storm damage recovery.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AID: Financial assistance to state and local governments for the immediate emergency work accomplished within the community, and repairs or replacements of disaster-damaged facilities. The 27 Minnesota communities and three tribal nations listed above are covered under Public Assistance Federal Aid.
HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM: Assistance to state and local governments for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AID: On August 29, 2018, the Small Business Administration (SBA) also authorized a disaster declaration for the Minnesota in Lyon and Redwood counties, where at least 25 homes and businesses suffered uninsured losses of more than 40 percent of their estimated fair market value. As a result, residents in Lyon and Redwood counties, as well as the contiguous counties of Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Pipestone, Murray, Cottonwood, Brown and Renville, will be eligible for low-interest loans to help with uninsured or underinsured losses from the declared disaster.