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Dayton Requests Federal Disaster Aid

Updated: 07/09/2014 12:14 PM
Created: 07/09/2014 12:12 PM WDIO.com

Gov. Mark Dayton is asking President Barack Obama to declare a major disaster for Minnesota after record rainfall led to flooding across much of the state, including Koochiching County, in June.

Dayton made the request Wednesday in a letter to President Obama.  Dayton said preliminary damage assessments have found the state reaches the threshold for federal aid even though only eight of the 51 affected counties have been formally assessed.

31 counties and one American Indian tribe have reported more than $55 million in response costs and uninsured damages to public infrastructure, mostly roads and bridges.

A presidential disaster declaration would allow counties, cities, townships, schools, and some non-profit groups to recoup the cost of debris removal, emergency protective services, and repair or replacement of roads, bridges, and other facilities.  The Federal Emergency Mangement Agency would fund 75 percent of the costs and the state would cover the other 25 percent under legislation approved earlier this year.

Also Wednesday, Gov. Dayton added 16 counties in the Twin Cities area and western Minnesota to his earlier peacetime state of emergency declaration, bringing the total number of counties covered by the declaration to 51.  Koochiching, St. Louis, and Beltrami counties were already on the list.

In a separate statement, Dayton announced that Minnesota would get up to $5 million in federal highway dollars to fix flood-damaged roads.

(Copyright 2014 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

FILE - Gov. Mark Dayton surveys flood-affected areas in Koochiching County.

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