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FEMA Assesses Freeborn County Storm Damage

Created: 07/08/2014 6:29 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It was a series of storms that left widespread damage across Minnesota.

On Tuesday, federal officials visited the area to try to find out just how bad that damage was.

"The total road surface gone," Geneva Township Supervisor Lee Loverink explained.

“Some culvert damage," added Freeborn County Emergency Manager Rich Hall.

“Major shoulder damage," Loverink said.

And it's that kind of damage that brought the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Freeborn county.

"We're here today to look at some public infrastructure the townships, cities and counties had for damage from the June storms," Hall told ABC6.

“There were about 35 counties declared state of emergency by the state," FEMA’s Carmen Rodriguez Diaz said.

Now, FEMA is compiling damage assessments from those counties to see if the state qualifies for a federal disaster declaration.

"Our county has to be in that $108,000 range. We're somewhere between $600,000 AND $800,000 for the county here," Hall said.

He also said the state needed to demonstrate public infrastructure damage of about $7.5 million, and damages are already estimated at $32 million.

“If we verify those damages we are going to sit down and prepare the letter to request a federal declaration of emergency," FEMAs Carmen Rodriguez Diaz said.

And if that happens:

"The state of Minnesota will pay 25 percent and FEMA would pay 75 percent, so we could get 100 percent of our cost reimbursed if we meet that threshhod," Hall told us.

“I think it was 8 different sites where we had roads washed away," Loverink said.

Geneva Township was one of dozens in Minnesota that suffered storm-related damage.

"I would guess this is probably gonna take one fourth of our budget to repair what we need to repair," Loverink said.

"This is extremely important for some of the smaller townships and smaller government entities that might not have large budgets,"  Hall added.