Minnesota requests FEMA preliminary damage assessment

Published 9:16 am Saturday, May 4, 2019

Following severe weather and flooding throughout Minnesota this spring, state, local and federal officials will begin Preliminary Damages Assessments (PDAs) in 50 counties and four tribal nations next week.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) division will join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in conducting the PDAs.

The following map details the four tribal nations and 50 counties listed in the PDA request. Additional counties may be added at a later date after floodwaters recede and initial damage estimates are submitted.

The PDA process begins May 7, and will likely take several weeks. It will document eligible damages for Gov. Tim Walz to request a major disaster declaration for Public Assistance under the Stafford Act.

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In a recent letter to the White House, Walz informed President Donald Trump of the looming need for federal disaster relief.

HSEM submitted the request for PDAs following the severe weather from March 12 through April 29, when the last river fell below major flood stage. Snowmelt flooding, rain-induced flooding, and a snowstorm with ice and high winds all contributed to initial damage estimates from counties and tribal nations exceeding $32 million dollars. That figure is four times more than Minnesota’s public assistance statewide indicator of $7.9 million.

Included in this estimate are damages to public property and infrastructure (bridges, roads, parks, utilities) along with public safety protective measures taken during that time frame. It does not include damages to private property, such as homes and businesses.