Following Effort from Minnesota Congressional Delegation, Administration Issues Major Disaster Declaration for State of Minnesota

Nov 3, 2016

In a letter last month, the federal lawmakers urged the President to issue a major disaster declaration to assist communities that are working hard to recover from significant flood damage 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following an effort from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Representatives Collin Peterson, John Kline, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, and Tom Emmer, today the Administration issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Minnesota. This announcement will trigger the release of federal funds for Public Assistance to help communities recover from the severe storms and flooding that occurred in September. In a letter last month, the federal lawmakers urged the President to issue a major disaster declaration to assist communities that are working hard to recover from significant flood damage.

“After seeing the devastation firsthand, this announcement today of federal funding for recovery efforts is welcome news for the Minnesota communities impacted by the recent storms and flooding,” said Klobuchar. “I now urge the Administration to swiftly review and make a determination on federal assistance for individual recovery efforts.”

“This is good news for the Minnesota communities that were hit hard by flooding,” said Franken. “I’m going to be pressing the Obama Administration to quickly review individual assistance as well because many Minnesotans are still struggling to recover from the storm damage.”

“This announcement means Minnesotans affected by natural disasters are one step closer to receiving relief,” Peterson said. “Heavy rains and flooding this September impacted many central and southern Minnesota communities who were still rebuilding from prior flood damage. Today’s declaration is welcome news."

“I applaud the Administration’s decision today to provide much needed Public Assistance to Minnesota communities that are working hard to recover from damages resulting from the severe storms and flooding of September,” Walz said. “As folks in these communities continue to reel from the aftermath, I call upon the Administration to expedite its consideration of federal aid for the families who are still in dire need of assistance.”

“Like much of the state, tornados and flooding have ripped through the Sixth District,” said Emmer. “These weather events can have incredible effects on our communities and I am pleased Minnesota will receive adequate assistance in this time of need.”

The full text of the letter from last month is below:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to you in strong support of the request for a Major Disaster Declaration to assist communities in Minnesota that are working hard to recover from recent rain storms and flooding that have caused significant damage.

On September 21 and 22, 2016, torrential rains and flash flooding caused extensive damage to infrastructure and properties across central and southern Minnesota. Many of these areas received up to 10 inches of rain, the majority of which fell over the course of several hours.

The Governor of Minnesota has determined that the damage caused by these storms is beyond the capability of our state and local governments to address on their own, and as a result has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance in Blue Earth, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Rice, Steele, and Waseca counties in Minnesota. Additionally, the Governor has requested Individual Household Assistance (IHA) for Blue Earth, Waseca, Steele, and Freeborn Counties due to the loss of furnaces and water heaters in a significant number of homes.

Given the degree of damage, we strongly encourage you to issue a disaster declaration in a timely manner, which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin to help impacted communities access federal assistance for debris removal and to repair critical infrastructure.

Minnesotans have displayed their resiliency in recovering from disasters in recent years including deadly tornadoes and widespread flooding. Many of these same counties saw significant flood damage in September 2010 and again in the summer of 2014. We are confident that the communities impacted by these storms will also recover and rebuild, but we urge you to make the federal government a full partner in that effort.

Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to working with you to assist the recovery efforts in Minnesota.

Sincerely,