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Congressman Tom Emmer

Representing the 6th District of Minnesota

Klobuchar, Smith, Hagedorn, Craig, Phillips, McCollum, Omar, Emmer, Stauber Urge Administration to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for Minnesota Areas Impacted by Devastating Storms and Flooding

May 29, 2019
Press Release

Historic snowfall, ice, and melting snow has caused widespread flooding and significant infrastructure damage across the state, affecting at least 51 counties and four tribal nations

 

Delegation letter follows Governor Tim Walz’s formal request for federal assistance to help these communities rebuild and recover


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), and Representatives Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1), Angie Craig (D-MN-2), Dean Phillips (D-MN-3), Betty McCollum (D-MN-4), Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5), Tom Emmer (R-MN-6), and Pete Stauber (R-MN-8) urged the Administration to issue a Major Disaster Declaration to assist communities in Minnesota that are working hard to recover from historic snowfall, ice, and melting snow this season that caused widespread flooding and significant infrastructure damage across the state, affecting at least 51 counties and four tribal nations. The delegation letter follows Governor Tim Walz’s formal request for federal assistance to help these communities rebuild and recover.

“Given that the public damage exceeds the threshold of $7.956 million, we strongly encourage you to issue a disaster declaration in a timely manner. Such a declaration will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin to help impacted communities access federal assistance for debris removal and the repair of critical infrastructure,” the lawmakers wrote. “Minnesotans are resilient and have demonstrated their ability to recover from significant disasters, including two other federal disaster declarations in the past year. We are confident that the communities impacted by these storms and flooding will also recover and rebuild, but we urge you to make the federal government a full partner in that effort.”

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you in strong support of Minnesota’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act to assist communities that are working to recover from historic winter snowfall, widespread flooding, and a recent spring blizzard. These events have caused significant damage in our state and necessitate federal government disaster assistance.

After Minnesota’s significant snowfall in February, melting snow in March contributed to flooding and substantial infrastructure damage across the state. This damage led 33 counties to declare emergencies. A subsequent April ice storm only worsened conditions in the state, leading to further infrastructure damage—including the downing of hundreds of power lines and loss of electricity for thousands of people in southern Minnesota. In total, this flooding and ice storm has affected at least 51 Minnesota counties and four tribal nations. The Governor of Minnesota has determined that the damage caused by these weather events is beyond the capacity of our state and local governments to address on their own and has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance.

Given that the public damage exceeds the threshold of $7.956 million, we strongly encourage you to issue a disaster declaration in a timely manner. Such a declaration will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin to help impacted communities access federal assistance for debris removal and the repair of critical infrastructure.

Minnesotans are resilient and have demonstrated their ability to recover from significant disasters, including two other federal disaster declarations in the past year. We are confident that the communities impacted by these storms and flooding will also recover and rebuild, but we urge you to make the federal government a full partner in that effort.

Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to working with you to assist in the recovery efforts.

Sincerely,

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