FEMA denies Dakota County disaster aid request


As of the start of this week, one Minnesota county was still waiting to be added to the federal disaster aid list following this summer's historic flooding.

Turns out, that county might not make the cut.

The Department of Public Safety said in a press release Wednesday FEMA denied Dakota County's request to be added to the federal disaster declaration. The county received a rejection letter from FEMA Tuesday evening, saying the damage "was not of the severity and magnitude to warrant inclusion."

You can view the full letter here.

The state has 30 days to appeal the decision; the Department of Public Safety says it plans to do so.

In the state's request letter, representative for the governor Kris Eide says FEMA removed some damage in the city of Mendota due to slope failure from the federal damage indicator, which knocked Dakota County below the cost threshold.

"It is the state's position that this slope failure was caused by the declared event and should be declared eligible," the request letter says.

You can see a list of all the approved counties on FEMA's disaster declaration site for Minnesota. Dakota County is not on there as of Thursday morning.

Total preliminary damage estimates statewide have exceeded $40 million.

About a week ago, Hennepin and Ramsey counties were deemed eligible by FEMA to apply for federal disaster aid.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement thanking FEMA officials for the adding the counties, in which he specifically mentioned Dakota County:

"I am very pleased that Hennepin and Ramsey counties have now been included in the FEMA emergency designation, and I am hopeful that Dakota county will also qualify," he said. "However, if it does not, it is eligible for the state emergency disaster assistance program, which the legislature passed last spring.”

The additions of Hennepin and Ramsey raise the total number of Minnesota counties eligible for assistance to 37, the declaration also includes three tribal governments. The 40 communities sustained damage from storms, flooding and mudslides that occurred between June 11 and July 11.

The initial disaster designation issued in July covered eight counties largely in west central and southwest Minnesota. On July 31, the declaration was extended to cover an additional 26 communities and last week three additional counties and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa were also added.

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.


Dayton officially appeals FEMA's denial of individual flood assistance

Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Wednesday appealing the government's decision to deny financial assistance to individuals in the wake of the northeastern Minnesota floods in June. Dayton wrote in the letter to FEMA that the rain and floods in the area caused "one of the worst natural disasters in Minnesota’s history."