Individual Storm Aid Now Approved for Rice, Steele County Area
Gov. Mark Dayton's office says a federal agency has reversed itself and approved aid for individuals and households in southern Minnesota hit by the heavy rains and flooding in September.
Earlier this month, the governor appealed the original decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny the individual assistance.
Dayton requested a federal disaster declaration October 19 and President Obama declared a major disaster in nine Minnesota counties including Rice, Steele, LeSueur, Waseca, Blue Earth and Freeborn.
During damage assessments in October, FEMA and the Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division identified more than 1,100 homes affected by flooding and $10.1 million in estimated individual and household needs.
Since then, more than 600 damaged homes were discovered in those areas when homeowners came forward to report the damage after pleas from the state to do so.
HSEM says many of those homes received major damage or were destroyed.
In a statement, Dayton said the aid is, "critical as Minnesotans work to rebuild their homes and communities" following the severe weather in the fall.
Storms hit September 21 and 22, causing more than $8 million in damage to public infrastructure in the nine counties included in the presidential disaster declaration.