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Minnesotans Begin Flood Cleanup, Wait For Possible Assistance

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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WATERVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) – Finally, on Sunday many people had a much-needed, sunny day to dry out.

But the extensive damage from flooding in several parts of the state will take a long time to fix.

The process is underway to tally up the damage and see if the state qualifies for federal aid.

Government officials have been out, looking at washed out roads, and flooded communities.

If there’s at least $7.3 million dollars in damage to public property, the federal money will be approved.

“We have faith they will move quickly in this assessment.  It’s never quick enough when you have a community you can’t get through on a road,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said Sunday.

Waterville is one of those communities where there are sections you still can’t get to because of blocked roads.

The town is between two lakes, and near the Cannon River.

In the neighborhood called the Lagoons, many places it look more like a lagoon or a lake than the popular summer cabin spot it’s known to be.

“To you it would still look really bad but it’s getting better,” Penny Isaacson said.

She and her husband, David Isaacson of Nerstrand, have a cabin on the bay of Lake Tetonka in Waterville.

A bay that’s now at their backdoor steps.

They’re among the few in the area who can now get to their cabin.

“We can see our driveway where before we couldn’t see our driveway,” Isaacson said.

They’re thankful their home didn’t flood.

“We’ve been able to keep the water out pretty good,” David Isaccson said.

But many aren’t as fortunate.

“Furnace is gone, hot water heaters gone, washer dryers gone,” Niederkofler said.

He lives in Blakely, Minn. where this weekend people were allowed to go back to their homes after being evacuated.

Flooding took out the bottom floor of his home and he has no flood insurance.

“If I could get some help that would be great.  But from everywhere I went so far, every angle I went nobody’s got answers,” he said.

He and many others are moving on with the cleanup, hoping Mother Nature will cooperate.

“In August we’ll probably all be praying for rain,” Penny Isaacson said.  “That’s how it goes in Minnesota.”

The federal money lawmakers are trying to get for the state is for public projects, like roads and bridges.

It’s not for individual homeowners.

If there is a disaster declaration, there may be money available for small business loans, critical living expenses like temporary housing, and loans to help rebuild.

For those interested in more information on FEMA’s qualifications and what it provides, visit FEMA online.

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