Gov. Dayton Meets Northland Officials, Reaches Out To President Obama

By KBJR News 1

July 20, 2012 Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM CDT

Thomson, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was back on the ground in the Northland Friday, meeting with city leaders to discuss unmet needs one month after the devastating floods.

LeAnn Wallace met up with the Governor in Thomson and has the latest on the quest for funds on both the state and federal level.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton heard first hand from community leaders in Thomson about the unmet needs...one month after floods wreaked havoc through the town.

"I'm so impressed with the way everybody has pulled together, it's just incredible."

But he knows that neighbors helping neighbors can really only go so far.

Plans for a special session to assess aid for flood relief are underway.
And while federal FEMA dollars are on the way now that the assessments have wrapped up, the Governor says the state wants to help wherever the federal government doesn't.

"And this is where it's going to be so important to get a sense from people in Thomson and elsewhere, you know...what the needs are that aren't going to be covered there so we can have that in time for the special session."

Thomson was one of the areas hardest hit by the floods.

"It hurt. Still does...I'm sorry..."

The damage left behind for many of the town's 158 residents is still painful to think about for Mayor Larry St. Germain.

"They're all friends, I've been here my whole life, 61 years...it's like family."

Some of Mayor St. Germain's friends and family members may be in luck.
Governor Dayton has sent a letter to President Obama requesting aid for individual assistance.

"That'd help a lot, a lot of the people need it, I mean there's a lot of damage, people don't see. They don't get to go in the houses and see the damage inside."

Much of the funding from the federal government is already set to go to roads and infrastructure.

But the surveys conducted by FEMA show homeowners need a lot of help too. FEMA teams assessed more than 1,100 homes while they were in the Northland.

Governor Dayton also met with city leaders in Cloquet.