Gov. Walz signs disaster assistance response bill as river levels rise

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a bill into law Monday morning that provides additional funding for the state’s disaster assistance response.

The bill moves $40 million into the emergency account, which was created back in 2014 to expedite help to communities dealing with damage from disasters.

Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona) says it’s the largest amount ever allocated to the fund and the first time lawmakers have replenished the fund in several years.

“While we hope disaster doesn’t strike, we know hope is not a plan. Whether it’s flooding, tornados, or snowstorms, this bill ensures Minnesota is ready to support recovery efforts in local communities across the state,” said Gov. Walz. “As communities brace for the crest of spring floods, I am grateful to the legislature for recognizing the urgency of these funds.”

The signing comes as the Mississippi River is forecasted to cross into the moderate-to-major flood stage at several locations by this weekend.

Below are the forecasted crests for the Mississippi River as of Monday afternoon from the National Weather Service. **Crests may change in future forecasts.**

  • St. Paul: 18.5′ by Sunday morning (major flood stage)
  • Hastings: 18.9′ by Saturday afternoon (major flood stage)
  • Red Wing: 17.5′ by Saturday morning (major flood stage)
  • Lake City: 18.4′ by Saturday afternoon (moderate flood stage)
  • Wabasha: 15.9′ by Saturday morning (moderate flood stage)
  • Winona: 18.0′ by Saturday afternoon (major flood stage)
  • La Crosse: 15.3′ by Sunday afternoon (moderate flood stage)

Watch Gov. Walz sign the state’s disaster assistance response bill below courtesy of our sister station, KSTP.