Senator Senjem announces disaster relief for region hit by summer storms

This week, it was announced that Dodge and Olmsted counties are set to receive more than $3 million in state disaster relief funds in response to the severe weather and flooding that blasted the area earlier this summer. On September 12, Governor Tim Walz authored the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to allocate the funds from the state’s Disaster Contingency Account.

“I’m grateful our region is getting the assistance we need to deal with the problems caused by this summer’s heavy rainfall, flooding, and severe weather,” said Senator David Senjem (R-Rochester). “Some communities received between 12 and 16 inches of rainfall over a very short period of time and. That had a tremendous impact on our area’s infrastructure and attractions. That damage comes with a big cost and I will continue to partner with the governor and our state agencies to make sure our region can recover quickly.”

The funds come from the state’s Disaster Contingency Account, which reimburses local governments at 75 percent of the assessed damage. Dodge County will receive a forecasted $1,154,687, while Olmsted County will receive an estimated $1,908,251 in relief. The numbers are estimates and not actual award amounts; counties will be reimbursed after repair and restoration work is documented and completed. The total estimated assistance across all of southern Minnesota is just shy of $4 million.

Excessive rainfall and severe weather hit southeastern Minnesota in late June and early July, causing extensive damage across Dodge and Olmsted counties. As a result, county and state highways were underwater and impassable and area parks, bridges, and roadways across the region suffered extensive damage.

“In many of the communities, this was a full-scale natural disaster. I am committed to seeing this through to the end and making sure our communities have the resources they need to address this natural disaster,” Senator Senjem said.

Senator David Senjem, of Rochester, represents Dodge and Olmsted counties in the Minnesota Senate. Senator Senjem serves as chairman of the Senate Capital Investment Committee and is a former majority leader and minority leader.