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FEMA tour of Duluth wraps up flood damage assessment in 13 counties

One of the state officials who accompanied federal inspectors on their tour of flood damage says Minnesota will have no trouble passing the $7.1 million threshold to qualify for aid from FEMA. A state Senator from Duluth says the feds typically cover about three-fourths of the cost of repairs to infrastructure, with state and local governments paying the rest.
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One of the state officials who accompanied federal inspectors on their tour of flood damage says Minnesota will have no trouble passing the $7.1 million threshold to qualify for aid from FEMA. A state Senator from Duluth says the feds typically cover about three-fourths of the cost of repairs to infrastructure, with state and local governments paying the rest.

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FEMA travels to North Shore to assess flood damage

FEMA officials were on Minnesota's North Shore Wednesday to assess the damage caused by last week's Knife River flooding, which is estimated to be between $1 million to $2 million. FEMA is expected to tour flood damage Thursday in Duluth, as well as affected areas in greater St. Louis and Carlton Counties.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will continue assessing damage to private property stemming from the floods in northeast Minnesota last month, and will be here for as long needed. State and federal officials have been in Carlton, St. Louis, Aitkin and Pine counties, as well as on the Fond du Lac Reservation, looking at the damage.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied an appeal Friday from Gov. Mark Dayton for aid for individuals and businesses affected by floods in northeastern Minnesota in June. Dayton said he was "disappointed" by FEMA's ruling and that he'll ask the state legislature for an estimated $7.4 million in assistance in an upcoming special session.

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Governor Dayton ordered state officials to begin preparing an appeal after learning that FEMA has denied federal aid to individual victims of last month's flooding. The agency is providing money for 13 counties to rebuild roads and make other repairs. But money for individual homeowners and businesses was denied.

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While the state and federal bureaucracies slowly creep toward getting financial help to flood victims, a group of volunteers in the Duluth area is taking a do-it-yourself approach. Volunteers organizing a recovery fund for flood victims have raised $1 million. They say loan centers opening soon around the region will help residents who qualify get loans of up to $200,000.