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Letter: Now it's your turn to tell storm stories

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During the recent visit by Governor Dayton and numerous other state and federal officials to view our storm damage, I questioned many of them as to what the most effective approach would be to encourage a disaster declaration. Their resounding answer was to send a personalized message explaining how the ice storm and its aftermath affected you and your livelihood.

Most of the public and non-profit entities have submitted their estimated costs to FEMA. What is also important are the stories about the costs incurred by private individuals and businesses. While these costs are not eligible for reimbursement under the declaration, they do indicate some of the hardships we have endured. What was the cost for individuals, farmers and businesses to run generators up to nine days? What was the cost to businesses of all sizes to either be closed or have decreased production because of intermittent power? Although our public costs submitted to FEMA are substantial for our relatively small communities, they pale in comparison to losses suffered during other national disasters.

When Nobles County meets FEMA's loss threshold, I urge you to use the power of your individual message to strengthen our case to encourage our state officials to pass the disaster declaration on to the federal level for further consideration. Please take the time within the next few days to tell your story to the following individuals: Gov. Mark Dayton, markdayton@state.mn.us; Sen. Bill Weber, sen.bill.weber@senate.mn; Rep. Joe Schomacker, rep.joe.schomacker@house.mn, and Rep. Rod Hamilton, rep.rod.hamilton@house.mn.

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