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Minnesota to receive $4.25M in emergency funds for road repairs

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Minnesota will receive $4.25 million in federal funding to help repair roads that were damaged by this summer's historic rains and flooding.

Minnesota's Congressional delegation announced the relief total Thursday in a press release. The money will come from the Department of Transportation's emergency relief program, and will help reimburse the state for road repairs and reconstruction. Officials said Wednesday it was possible the state could have received as much as $5 million from the "quick release" funds.

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

In his letter, Dayton describes 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.

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.

"As we’ve toured affected communities in recent weeks, we’ve seen firsthand the damage these storms have caused," the letter says. It continues:

After disaster strikes Minnesota, we hit the ground running and do not stop until we have the resources in place to ensure that communities can recover. We will continue to push for all available assistance at the federal level until the recovery is complete. Minnesota has faced significant disasters in recent years, from deadly tornadoes to widespread flooding, and we are confident that communities impacted by these storms will recover and rebuild. We urge you to make the federal government a full partner in that effort.

If Obama declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund 75 percent of approved costs, with the state paying the rest.

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. Assessment teams are scheduled to survey damage through Friday.

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