President Obama Declares Northern Minnesota Disaster Area

By KBJR News 1

July 6, 2012 Updated Jul 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- President Obama has declared 13 counties in Minnesota as well as three tribal reservations a federal disaster area.

This means that areas devastated by the recent flooding will receive FEMA aid.

Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley and St. Louis counties as well as the Fond du Lac Tribal Nation, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Grand Portage Tribal Nation are included in the disaster declaration.

Preliminary damage assessments revealed more than $108 million in costs and damages.

The declaration includes two categories of aid:
• Public Assistance: Assistance to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. This applies within the counties in the disaster area.

• Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Assistance to state and local government and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. All counties in the state of Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistance under this program.

FEMA will fund 75% of the approved cost while the remaining 25% is a state/local match.

Eligible work includes debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.

The state also requested individual assistance damage assessments for five counties and one tribe.

Those assessments begin Wednesday, July 11th in Aitkin, Carlton, Lake, Pine and St. Louis counties as well as the Fond du Lac Tribal Nation.

Individual assistance provides federal grants to individual citizens and private businesses who have suffered damages or losses not covered by insurance.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns

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