Hennepin and Ramsey counties have now been added to a presidential disaster declaration for damage from flooding and severe storms this summer. Gov. Mark Dayton’s office says adding the two counties means 37 counties and three tribal governments are now eligible to receive federal and state aid to recover from damage to public infrastructure. Dakota County is still assessing its damages.
Months after the floods, one of the communities that saw some of the worst damage has a lot of cleanup and repairs to do. Heavy rain washed out major roads, triggered mudslides and flooded homes in the town of Blakeley, which is about an hour southwest of the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne will reopen Monday after a monthlong shutdown caused by flood damage. The park in southwestern Minnesota was forced to close June 18. The campground, interpretive center, climbing area and all trails except the Mound Creek Trail will reopen Monday.
When Minnesotans head to the cabin for the weekend, many worry about break-ins. But it turns out, there’s something more costly to think about. While the average theft claim is less than $2,000, the average water damage claim is more than $7,000. And with rains as heavy as they were this summer, many basements have experiences such flooding.
Initial estimates from recent flooding across Minnesota put the public infrastructure damage at $32 million, with more assessments to come that will push the total up. Gov. Mark Dayton and his emergency managers provided the estimate Tuesday. They said it makes them confident that the state would be eligible for federal assistance to offset costs of response and recovery. Flooding damage was seen in nearly half of Minnesota’s counties.
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.
Numerous highways and bridges are closed across the state as cities continue to deal with flooding and damage from torrential rains. In the metro area, the Stillwater Lift Bridge remains closed to pedestrian, vehicle and water traffic as waters on the St. Croix rise.
Customers sitting behind Three Crows Café are also now sitting just a couple feet from the Crow River. Three Crows Café co-owner Brad Coburn has been through this before. There was little flood damage in 2010, but Coburn’s not sure luck is on their side this time.
The Minnesota National Guard is sending 20 soldiers to Henderson, Minn. to assist with flood response. Henderson is among the towns in southern Minnesota that suffered damage due to torrential rains that plagued the state over the last week. The soldiers will provide assistance by watching over flowage channels, levee watch and lift stations.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has temporarily closed Blue Mounds State Park due to flood damage from recent storms. The park, which is 3 ½ hours southwest of Minneapolis, received more than 11 inches of rain since last Friday.
A team from the city of Fargo is trying to help homeowner Dave Hinkley protect the land he loves.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is preparing to send off a federal disaster request detailing more than $100 million in flood damage and says he expects to call state lawmakers into special session in July or August.
Teams of federal, state and local representatives will begin work to tally flood damage in 13 Minnesota counties and the Fond du Lac reservation on Tuesday.