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.
Hazel Lafler says she had no flood insurance for her home on Hunter Lake and does not plan to rebuild. She's philosophical about the loss, saying there's nothing she can do about it. "It's like spilling milk; you can't pick it up," she says.
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.
The same type of flood damage to streets and sewers occurred in many of the same places forty years ago. 1972 even had its own version of a boy carried by floodwaters into a culvert drain. in each case there was ten inches of rain, although in '72 it fell in three separate storms rather than all at once.