Less than a year after the state struggled through a severe propane shortage, another vital commodity is in short supply.
Although the federal government said no, Dakota County will get disaster aid to help with severe storms and flooding earlier this year. Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday directed Minnesota emergency management director Kris Eide (EYE’-dee) to provide state aid to Dakota County under the State Public Disaster Assistance Fund.
The U.S. Department has designated 18 more Minnesota counties as primary natural disaster areas due to heavy rain, flooding and cold temperatures from May 1 through July 1. The designation makes farmers and ranchers in those counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Existing emergency accounts are probably sufficient to cover state costs related to severe June flooding and avoid the need for a special session of the Minnesota Legislature. That message was delivered Tuesday by Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration.
Organizers say hundreds of volunteers have collected about three tons of trash during a cleanup of Minnehaha Creek near the Twin Cities following heavy summer floods. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District says volunteers and park workers spent most of Sunday cleaning up and assessing damage along Hiawatha and Nokomisthe lakes and the creek, which branches off the Mississippi River.
The summer was going just great until June 15 for many golf course owners in the Twin Cities. Then the rain started falling, and it flooded two of the five public courses in the city.
Thunderstorms have swept across western and central Minnesota, causing street flooding and wiping out an orchard’s apple crop the day before it was to be picked. The National Weather Service reports 2.7 inches of rain fell at the St. Cloud Regional Airport on Wednesday.
The federal government has denied Minnesota’s request to add Dakota County to a disaster declaration for recent severe storms and flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency notified the state about the rejection late Tuesday.
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.
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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.
A federal judge has ruled that a state lawsuit filed by upstream opponents of a Red River flood control project duplicates a federal complaint. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the lawsuit from moving forward in Minnesota state court.
Another $5 million in federal assistance is bound for Minnesota to help repair roads and bridges damaged by severe flooding in June. Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration said Thursday that the emergency repair money is on top of $5 million previously released by the Federal Highway Administration.
The federal government has expanded Minnesota’s flood disaster declaration to 24 more counties and two tribal governments. Last month President Barack Obama declared a disaster in eight Minnesota counties damaged by flooding, unleashing federal funds to help repair millions in damages.
Minnesota officials have hired a contractor to start stabilizing a highway closed by flood and mudslide damage. The Minnesota Department of Transportation tells the Mankato Free Press that GeoStabilization International of Grand Junction, Colorado, has begun work on Highway 19.