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Lawmaker: Disaster program should be established before flooding

ST. PAUL -- A state disaster assistance program should be established before flooding this year, a state lawmaker says.

Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, said the program is needed to help communities along the Red and Minnesota rivers that are not covered by a presidential disaster declaration. His bill also would allow the state to match any federal aid that is available.

"Now is the time to act," Morrow said. "We know that the conditions are set for serious floods in Minnesota. It's better to prepare now than to scramble in the aftermath."

Morrow said the bill is needed because communities often wait for months before getting aid.