Weather Forecast


Disaster declaration will provide funding help in flood areas

ST. PAUL -- President Obama has approved a major disaster declaration for Minnesota, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Monday.

The approval clears the way for federal relief and recovery assistance for 18 counties and the Upper Sioux Community in Minnesota. Area counties qualifying for assistance include: Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine.

A preliminary estimate for Minnesota listed approximately $14.8 million in damages. With the disaster declaration, the federal government will cover 75 percent of eligible costs, or approximately $11.1 million.

Pawlenty will propose legislation that would have the state cover the remaining local portion of 25 percent, or approximately $3.7 million.

The designation is welcome news for flood-affected communities in the region. Montevideo had a preliminary estimate of $231,000 to $315,000 in flood damages. Now that the waters are receding, the Upper Sioux tribal government, cities, and townships in the counties are determining the actual damages, much of it to roads and infrastructure.

Other Minnesota counties included in the declaration include Brown, Carver, Clay, Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Scott, Sibley, Traverse, and Wilkin.

-- Tom Cherveny