Governor OKs disaster assistance in Morrison County
Gov. Mark Dayton decided Wednesday to extend state disaster assistance funds to parts of Morrison County affected by spring storms and flooding. In a letter to Kris Eide, director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Dayton sa...
Gov. Mark Dayton decided Wednesday to extend state disaster assistance funds to parts of Morrison County affected by spring storms and flooding.
In a letter to Kris Eide, director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Dayton said the damage "is of sufficient severity and magnitude" to qualify for the State Public Disaster Assistance fund.
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared a major disaster in Minnesota this spring and early summer, Morrison County and its cities and townships were not eligible for the disaster relief. The rain events and flooding in Morrison took place in late May and early June, before the official federal disaster declaration, which listed the incident period as June 11 through July 11.
"The heavier rain (in Morrison County) washed down the river and caused a bunch of flooding issues in southern Minnesota," said Deb Gruber, Morrison County administrator. "The declaration did not include that original rain storm that caused all of our damage, just because of a timing issue where it wasn't really thought through."
Gruber said the more than 7 inches of rain that fell over two days in the county - along with an additional four inches over the next two weeks - led to washed out roads, failed culverts, a damaged retaining wall and numerous downed trees. She estimated the cost of damage to both township and county infrastructure at $300,000.
Because of ineligibility to apply for federal funds, Morrison County officials petitioned Dayton for relief from state funds.
If Dayton had not approved the county's request, money to pay for the damage would have come from township and county budgets. The townships most affected by the storm damage were Little Falls, Buckman, Morrill and Scandia Valley.