State Senator Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), Gov. Mark Dayton, and United States Congressman Tim Walz on Monday visited several communities in southwestern Minnesota affected by recent severe storms, including Windom, Jackson, Blue Earth, and surrounding areas. They were joined by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly, and other local emergency management personnel and local officials.
The visits come after Gov. Dayton declared a state of emergency for 36 Minnesota counties, including six in Senator Rosen’s district: Blue Earth, Faribault, Jackson, Martin, Waseca, and Watonwan. The declaration directs state agencies to assist with recovery efforts and allows the state to request a damage assessment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If that assessment finds damage exceeds $7.7 million, Minnesota will be eligible for a federal disaster declaration. In that circumstance, the federal government would pay for 75% of public property damage, while the state would be responsible for the remaining 25%.
“I am honored to serve a senate district that has proven their resiliency in the face of disasters and to do what needs to be done, but in the case of the floods and the devastating rain storms this is the time where state and federal government need to provide aid,” said Senator Rosen.
“Again, it was so heartwarming to see all the community members pull together and help each other,” Senator Rosen added. “Now it is our turn to follow by their example and assist with recovery.”
Homeowners, renters, and small business owners have several tools at their disposal to help them navigate the recovery process.
- The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency has disaster recovery resources for homeowners, renters, business owners, local officials, and more: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/disaster-recovery/Pages/homeowners-renters.aspx
- The Department of Commerce has information that will help guide homeowners who have experienced flood damage: https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/your-home/protect/other/floods/what-to-do.jsp
- The Department of Commerce also provides a detailed disaster information packet: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/disaster-recovery/Documents/commerce-disaster-packet.pdf
- The Minnesota Rural Finance Authority offers a zero-percent Disaster Loan Program to help farmers with flood clean up, repairs, and replacement costs not covered by insurance: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/disaster/disasterloan.aspx
Residents who have experienced damage or have questions can also call their local emergency response managers:
Blue Earth County Emergency Management
401 Carver Road, P.O. Box 228, Mankato
Phone: (507) 304-4806
Faribault County Emergency Management
320 Dr. H. Russ Street, Blue Earth
Phone: (507) 526-5335
Jackson County Emergency Management
405 – 4th Street, Resource Center, Jackson
Phone: (507) 847-4774
Martin County Sheriff’s Department
201 Lake Avenue, Fairmont
Main Phone: (507) 238-3193
On Call Phone: (507) 238-4481
Waseca County Emergency Management
122 – 3rd Avenue NW, Waseca
Phone: (507) 835-0516
Watonwan Co. Emergency Management
710 – 2nd Avenue S, St. James
Main Phone: (507) 375-5841
On Call Phone: (507) 375-3121
Counties included in the governor’s disaster declaration are Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Jackson, Kittson, Lake, Lyon, Mahnomen, Martin, Mille Lacs, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, St. Louis, Waseca, and Watonwan counties, and the Red Lake Nation.