Tuesday FEMA meeting to solidify flood damage totals

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will host a meeting Tuesday to brief the counties that applied for funding following last month’s flooding.

Mower County Emergency Management Director Wayne Madson is planning to attend the meeting in Rochester at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the Union of Operating Engineers, 1756 County Road 16 SW. The meeting will address applicants in Mower, Winona and Olmsted counties.

According to Madson, FEMA and the counties will solidify total damage numbers during the meeting. In the coming weeks, FEMA representatives will travel to each of the counties affected.

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The wide-spread flooding started Sept. 23 with the Cedar River and Turtle Creek both overflowing their banks. While no homes were significantly damaged, businesses like the Hardy Geranium, Budget Oil, Stuttgart Travel & Tan and Triple J Auto Sales were all underwater by the time the rain ceased on Sept. 24. However, most of the businesses were able to remove belongings from their locations.

According to Madson, the Governor’s request for assistance under the FEMA Individual Assistance Program has been denied. This assistance typically is set for homes and private properties. Damage estimates need to hit a certain dollar amount for the funding, and Madson said it’s possible that still could happen.

However, the Governor’s request for assistance under the Small Business Administration’s Physical Damage and Economic Injury loan program has been approved.

State legislators will gather in St. Paul on Monday for a special session to address flood relief in southern Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that legislators will vote on a bill that includes approximately $74 million in flood relief. Officials have indicated the majority of the state’s portion of the funding will come from the state’s general fund and general obligation bonds.

Total state and federal funding combined is expected to exceed $100 million.

—Reporters Trey Mewes and Amanda Lillie contributed to this report.