MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The federal government has denied Minnesota’s request for disaster assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses hit by last month’s deadly tornado in Minneapolis.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Mark Dayton, denying the request. FEMA says the tornado damage is not beyond the combined capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies.

FEMA Public Affairs Spokesperson Richard Gifford told WCCO-TV on Tuesday the agency considers a range of factors when determining a need for individual assistance. Those factors are from damage to individuals, to injuries, disruption of services, availability of insurance and if the local volunteer force can help meet the need of the victims.

Word had already reached neighbors still cleaning up their yards Tuesday night, in the middle of heavy rain. Carl West said volunteers haven’t yet reached his block of Willow Street.

“It’s wet, it’s cold, rain sleet or snow, it has to be done,” said West, who declared himself one of the lucky ones with garage damage and a home still standing.

“We got it bad, but it ain’t the worst, there is people that can’t walk out their front door. I would say think about people in need that don’t have roofs over their heads, I know those top officials have one over theirs,” said West.

The state has 30 days to appeal the decision. The Governor’s Spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, told WCCO-TV that Governor Dayton is considering all options right now.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said while he’s disappointed in FEMA’s denial for individual help, he’s been invited to the White House on Monday to explore all options for federal assistance for north Minneapolis.

Last week, President Barack Obama declared Anoka and Hennepin counties disaster areas following the May 22 tornado. That declaration will send money to state and local governments, and some non-profit organizations, for repairs to facilities damaged by the storm.

Preliminary assessments put the damage to public infrastructure at $16.3 million.

Comments (32)
  1. Sick of all the politics says:

    We all know what this means…nothing will get done the homes that are listed as uninhabitable will sit there and be a eye sore as will homes that need repairs but the owners are unable to pay to fix them, AND the State of MN will do nothing for years because it’s broke and we have a bunch of middle aged men who think because they were elected that they are entitled to become “gods” over the voting public. Why are we not rallying like in Wisconsin to get these people to come to their censes or at least get re-call voting starting?

    1. Jon Stalboerger says:

      Well, whats new? A majority of the houses damaged are owned by people out of the state. I am currently looking into investing into a company that can guarantee a 10 year tarp. Because other than that, there won;t be much change.
      And yes, they will sit for years and years, inhabitable. Other than the houses that had insurance on them. They will be fine.
      But, Mr. (Sick of all the politics);
      Where have you been raised that you think, that because we elect government officials, that we give them the authority to spend tax money because of a storm?
      Remember this… the GOVT does not have money whatsoever, Taxpayers do

    2. Drunken Dissed Orderly says:

      A recall of whom? FEMA?

  2. Husband will be out of a job says:

    Well honestly, it was horrible that it happened but it really wasn’t a “federal disaster”. I know people from towns that have been taken down by tornadoes. A small section in Minneapolis is not qualified for federal aid. But on the other hand, with the state shutdown looming, there won’t be aid or workers to help any further with this. So it is a catch 22 because nobody can help and everybody has to suffer. Let’s keep whining.

  3. Beggers says:

    What is wrong with the homeowners and renters insurance, It covers tornado damage. Why beg for taxpayers money, Too many are begging for handouts when it is an insurance deal.

    1. Bob says:

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!! Enough said.

  4. Victim Du Jour says:

    I am sure there are plenty of vacant homes in the area, I am sure it’s not hard to find people a place to live.

    Perhaps the storm damaged area can be thinned out and zoned for business distrcts and things that can improve the whole area.

  5. tom says:

    should of voted for a republican

    1. K. says:

      Ya think that would have made any difference? Remember, it’s the Republicans that are doing all the slashing of spending and cutting of programs right now.

      1. Kamero is probably your real name. says:

        WHERE IS THE SLASHING AND CUTTING COMING FROM? 6% INCREASE! You must be from North Minneapolis where they love entitlements and increases greater than inflation are cuts. GET OFF THE DRUGS! GET A JOB! LEARN BASIC MATH AND HOW TO READ!

  6. Dominique Deleon says:

    Of course people outside of North Minneapolis can comment because they don’t live there. If this would have happen up in Northern Minnesota. I pretty sure FEMA and the residents that live outside North Minneapolis would be complaining like a *****!!!!!!

    1. getalife says:

      You go girl, what’s coming out of your piehole next?…Maury…..Maury….thez alway tryn to keeps uz down!

    2. Wadena Resident says:

      I live in Wadena, and if you recall we were hit with a very devastating tornado one year ago this week. We DID NOT receive FEMA assistance, nor did we sit around crying about it! We got busy, we worked hard and cleaned up our city, and we are rebuilding an even better Wadena!!

      1. Wadena Resident says:

        Because I know this will become an issue, I thought I would also let you know that I grew up in the twin cities, very close to N MPLS, and still have friends and family living in or close to that area. I now work a fulltime job, farm, and raise a family. I know the meaning of pulling myself up by the bootstraps and getting things done. Sure didn’t see anyone pulling debris out of our fields or removing trees from my roof, my husband and I and our family took care of that ourselves. We spent many hours in town cleaning up, bring food and water to other volunteers, and being part of a support system for our neighboors and friends.

    3. JB says:

      Interestingly enough I live in Roges and we were hit in two heighborhoods and FEMA did come out and spend a week with us. They then on national television stated they never seen anything like it, how the whole town came together and cleaned up and helped each other out. How it was cleaned up in one week and kids were back playing outside without having to worry about getting hurt on broken glass. Versus the pictures of the renters and home owners sitting on their rear ends while volunteers cleaned up their yards and cut trees in North Minneapolis. If you want to know what the downfall of society will be, drive through North Minneapolis and you will see it. People sitting on their stoop waiting for someone else to do eomething that they can easily do themselves.

  7. Darren says:

    Didn’t hear a thing from the residents in Wadena or St.Peterr or Rogers that were hit by tornadoes recently. The people in those cities took care of it on there own.

  8. John says:

    Lets get Kanya West on this

  9. Mike says:

    I know it was bad for the people who were affected but in reality the damage really was not that bad. Look at the immense damage that was done by the tornados in the south. That was bad! Now is a great time for the county and city to revitalize North Minneapolis. Those homes are in great need of repair (they were before the tornado) and now with them vacant its a great opportunity. North Minneapolis has been making progress. Many homes are being renovated. NOMI has done great work. Its being done one block at a time and has a long way to go. Many of the criminals are moving to the suburbs as Minneapolis is more expensive to live. The result is young middle and higher income people buying older charming houses in the city rather than living in the burbs.

  10. Mae Johns says:

    The racism in replies on this thread is absolutely disgusting. Shame on you.

    1. Former N Mpls resident says:

      Why is it that there is always someone who has to bring race into everything? Where in any of these comments is anyone referring to race? I grew up in North Mpls (my mom still lives over there) and most of the areas affected by the tornado, were already in bad shape because people just don’t care; if they’re renting, they don’t feel that it’s their responsibility to keep the property up that they’re paying for but yet are the first to stick their hand out for someone to “come help me”? Yes, the resources aren’t always available but I’ve always said, I will help those who will at least try to help themselves……it works, no matter what race you are.

      1. K. says:

        New Flash……….it isn’t a renter’s responsibility to keep up the property, it’s the owner’s. That’s where the rent goes; into the owner’s pocket so that he/she can maintain the property.

        1. Former N Mpls resident says:

          Well “K’, here’s another “news flash” for you…..if a “renter” took any pride in the dwelling that they’re choosing to rent and live in, they would do what it takes to make it liveable and presentable but most of them are choosing not to do this and are always waiting for someone else to come and do it for them. Yes, it is the owners responsibility to ensure that the property is maintained for the safety and well-being of the renter but come on, the renter should take on some responsibility as well. There are way too many people out there who want everything given to them without having to lift a finger to help out, let alone help themselves…..

  11. Sgt says:

    Get the bulldozers out.

  12. Jean says:

    We see image after image of the people that actually live there whose homes were destroyed…just sitting there watching others work. Why not get off your butt and start working. Why always waiting for someone to do it for you? Someone to pay for it for you? Why? Why the laziness?

    1. Michele says:

      I can understand your reaction, Jean, and there are some for whom I would agree. But you can’t know all the facts from looking at the pictures. There are those who are too disabled, too messed up. There are those who might have been working long hours before the camera showed up. I’m not arguing that people need to do things for themselves, in fact, survival counts on it. I’m just saying maybe we shouldn’t make judgements from images we see in the media.

  13. stj says:

    What? We can billions of dollars overseas (some are even our enemies!) but we can’t help our own people? I doubt if many had renters insurance because some of the neighborhoods were low income. Also sounds a little racist to me. Isn’t most of NE Mpls non-caucasion?

    1. Yukon Cornelius says:

      North Minneapolis will be chocolate… At the end of the day…

    2. Former M Mpls resident says:

      Oh boy, here it is again, the good ol’ race-thing. I’m trying so hard to see in these posts where anyone (except those who feel the need to bring it up) has ever said anything about race, what is it about this that you feel the need to drop this in here? The fact is, FEMA has denied assistance for the No Mpls area so EVERYONE affected, will need to do their part to help rebuild the area, if that’s what they want. Yes, there are those who feel that they are owed by the government and everyone else but they don’t want to lift a finger to help themselves or each other…..that had nothing to do with race. As Michele stated, there are those who are elderly or disabled who would no doubt want to be able to help, but can’t. But those who are able-bodied are the ones waiting for someone else to do it for them. These are the people who are flat-out lazy and don’t care…..

  14. Tony says:

    They also had looting in N. Minneapolis, didn’t happen anywhere else in Minnesota. They are the part of the state that makes the rest of the state blue on all the voting maps. Asking for FEMA help for 16.2 million dollars is a joke. But that the mentality in MSP and Minnesota. Out state will bail out the cities, the rich will bail out the state. Maybe make July handout free month? Sounds like dayton wants to do that anyways.

  15. eva says:

    I do not live in US but I would be questioning why your tax money dollars help everyone around the world and you get ZERO when extreem disaster strikes you. How come everyone else qualifies instantly and you have to beg and still get Zero Why are you left destitute and in a garbage heap UNFORGOTTEN Something seems wrong with this PICTURE It could be just me not understanding Politics and feeling the ugliness that you are experiencing at your expense when it comes to other disasters around the globe you still pay even if you have nothing

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