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FEMA Hears Storm Damage Estimates

May 14, 2019 05:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- They're fanning out to more than four dozen locations around the state.

A stop in Freeborn County on Monday was followed by a stop in Mower County today.

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And in all those places, their goal is the same: aiding a recovery.

"This is the first step to a federal declaration," said Rita Egan, a media relations specialist for FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It was the kind of winter that reminded us of the power of Mother Nature. But the process of fixing the damage she caused is underway.

"The applicants who are looking for FEMA assistance from the damage assessment came with their numbers," said Mower County Emergency Management Coordinator Amy Lammey.

Fifty Minnesota counties and four tribal nations are asking for help in recovering from storm damage that occurred between March 12 and April 29.

"We are looking at things that were caused by severe winds, snowfall, snow melt, rain, flooding, that have impacted communities, roads and public structures," Egan said.

"This declaration is mostly co-ops,” Lammey said. “And what that does is allow them to rebuild, back to what it was or even better."

Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services alone is estimating storm damage at $3 million.

"So then FEMA and Homeland Security and emergency management submit the numbers to our governor, and then our governor will ask for a presidential declaration for a disaster," Lammey explained.

“If a declaration were to occur, there would be a cost benefit ratio of 75-25 percent. Seventy-five percent of the cost (would be) covered by the federal government,” Egan said. “And what we do is we look at the amount of damages times the population, and go from there. We also look at the severity of the situation, how it's affected the community or the county, and also the duration of the event."

“They're hoping to have the letter to the president at the end of the month," Lammey said.

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Dan Conradt

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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