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Dayton formally requests federal flood aid, cites $55M in damage

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter to President Barack Obama Wednesday requesting federal disaster aid to help pay for damages caused by June's heavy rains, widespread flooding and mudslides.

In the letter, Dayton described the widespread flood damage across the state, citing 31 counties and one American Indian tribe that have reported more than $55 million in response costs and uninsured damage to public infrastructure, and that number could go up.

Emergency management officials are still assessing damage throughout the state. As of Wednesday, $10.8 million in eligible damages had been documented through preliminary assessments in a handful of the 51 counties affected, according to a news release.

Some of the hardest-hit counties won't be assessed for several weeks, but because preliminary damage assessments are higher than initial estimates, Dayton made the formal request for federal disaster declaration now, the release says.

The FEMA threshold for federal assistance is $7.3 million statewide.

If Obama grants Dayton's request, the disaster declaration would assist townships, cities, counties, schools and certain private not-for-profit organizations for uninsured and eligible storm-related damage to public infrastructure, including: debris removal; emergency protective services; repair or replacement or storm-damaged roads, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, municipal utilities, parks and recreational facilities.

The Minnesota delegation also wrote Obama a letter Wednesday, urging him to issue a major disaster declaration to assist the communities affected by significant flood damage, a news release says. If Obama declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund 75 percent of approved costs, with the state paying the rest.

Dayton also announced Wednesday the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide up to $5 million in "quick release" emergency funds to help fix flooded roads, according to a news release. The funds will reimburse the state for emergency repair work done after the flooding and will supplement $750,000 in federal transportation funds the state received on June 23, the release says.

“The flood damage recently inflicted on Minnesota roads, highways, and bridges has been severe and widespread,” Dayton said. “These funds will speed up important repairs statewide.”

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Dayton to request $108M in disaster aid for NE Minnesota floods

Gov. Mark Dayton announced in Duluth Friday that he will ask President Barack Obama for a $108 million disaster declaration stemming from last week's floods in northeastern Minnesota. The money will be used to repair damages sustained by public infrastructure in the 13 counties and three tribal areas affected by the flooding.