Legislative Update – July 15, 2014

On Wednesday, Minnesota took an important step toward securing substantial resources to strengthen our ongoing disaster relief and recovery efforts after last month’s severe storms and flooding.

Governor Dayton issued Emergency Executive Order 14-12 expanding the peacetime state of emergency to 16 counties beyond the 35 counties declared on June 19, 2014. The new emergency executive order includes Kandiyohi County.

Governor Dayton has also requested that President Obama declare a major disaster in Minnesota. In a letter to President Obama, Governor Dayton described widespread flood damage across Minnesota. To date, $10.8 million in eligible damages have been documented through preliminary damage assessments in Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock counties. The FEMA threshold for federal assistance is $7.3 million in statewide eligible damages.

If granted by the President, the disaster declaration would provide assistance to townships, cities, counties, schools and certain private not-for-profit organizations for uninsured and eligible storm-related damage to public infrastructure.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Debris Removal
  • Emergency Protective Services
  • Repair or replacement of storm-damaged:
    • Roads and Bridges
    • Water control facilities
    • Buildings and equipment
    • Municipal utilities
    • Parks and recreational facilities

If the President declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund 75 percent of approved costs, with Minnesota covering the remaining 25 percent non-federal share.

The Department of Commerce has posted resources at its Disaster Center located on their website.   The information is also included in the attachment. The Department of Commerce’s Consumer Response Team (CRT) is available to help consumers with questions, concerns, or complaints following a damaging storm, flood, or tornado. CRT experts help consumers understand their rights, work with their insurer to settle a claim, and help Minnesotans make informed insurance decisions after a flood or storm damages their home, auto, or property.

Phone: (800) 657-3602
Email: consumer.protection@state.mn.us

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for the honor of serving you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

All the best,

Mary Sawatzky

State Representative

District 17B