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Obama Approves Disaster Aid for June Storms

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Thursday.

June 2013 storm damage in Minnesota.
June 2013 storm damage in Minnesota.

While Minneapolis and other Twin Cities towns continue cleanup efforts following the severe June storms, President Barack Obama has made federal funding available through FEMA.

On Thursday, Obama declared the storms that occurred between June 20 and June 26 a disaster, making the funds available for state and local recovery efforts, according to a FEMA press release.

“The President's action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding in Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, and Wilkin counties.

“Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.”

Cleanup costs could be more than $7.26 million, according to City Pages. That price tag is above the threshold for when federal funding can be granted.

According to FEMA, the following aid programs are available:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

As far as applying for the funds, FEMA said:

“Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.” 

As of July 20, Minneapolis forestry crews had cleared approximately 3,000 trees and hauled more than 2,000 semi truckloads of debris since the storm. Immediately following the storm, more than 600,000 people lost power, with thousands in Minneapolis waiting more than five days for it to be restored.

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