Freeborn County Included in Dayton's Federal Disaster Request

Updated: 07/09/2014 11:59 AM
Created: 07/09/2014 11:50 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Wednesday morning Governor Mark Dayton extended a state of emergency for 16 Minnesota counties damaged last month by heavy rain and wind, bringing the total to 51 in the state.

Dayton also made a disaster request to President Obama, which if approved, would provide 75% of the costs to fix public infrastructure. The state would then have to pay the remaining 25%.

The counties with damage assessments completed are Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock counties. There, $10.8M has been totaled, which is above the require $7.3M for federal assistance.

Tuesday, FEMA joined municipal and county officials in Freeborn county to go over damage assessments. Local officials estimate the cost of the June storms in Freeborn county to be in the $850,000 range.  

Dayton's office released details on how the presidential declaration process will work:

1. Local and state officials conduct an initial impact assessment.

This occurs shortly after the storm when local officials inform HSEM which facilities in their community are impacted, damage, impacts to the communities and their demographics.

2. HSEM requests FEMA to conduct a preliminary damage assessment.

Teams from the affected county, HSEM and FEMA conduct the assessment. They view the damage and collect the cost estimates from county officials. Each county must meet its individual threshold which is defined as population times $3.50. The state must also meet a threshold of $7.3 million statewide. 

3. HSEM prepares the governor’s request for a disaster declaration.

A letter details the event and cites National Weather Service data. It must document factors that determine severity, magnitude and impact. It also documents what local officials did to respond to the emergency. 

Local input regarding impact to the community is gathered and incorporated in the letter. This includes the amount and type of damage, impact on infrastructure, impact on essential services, concentration of damage, level of insurance coverage, assistance available from other sources, and if there is an imminent threat to public health and safety.

4. Governor submits the letter to the president through FEMA.

FEMA reviews and sends the letter, with its recommendation to the president. The president is the only one with authority to grant a Presidential Disaster Declaration.  If assistance programs are approved, HSEM officials work in partnership with FEMA to assistance disaster victims in their application for funds.

Read Gov. Dayton's request to President Obama by clicking here.

Photo: ABC 6 News