Letter: Plenty of flood relief resources availableOn Sept. 22-24, an unprecedented rainfall caused flooding in the southern third of Minnesota affecting approximately 35 counties, including Cottonwood, Jackson and Nobles.
By: Dist. 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, Worthington Daily Globe
On Sept. 22-24, an unprecedented rainfall caused flooding in the southern third of Minnesota affecting approximately 35 counties, including Cottonwood, Jackson and Nobles. Numerous communities have extensive damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.
Hundreds of federal, state, county, city and township roads and highways were damaged, including numerous sinkholes and washouts.
The current situation varies by county. In some areas the water is subsiding, roads are re-opening and the communities are beginning the cleanup process. In other areas, the water is still rising and rivers aren’t expected to crest until mid-week. Because of the impending winter season, cleanup and restoration will be slow and may be delayed until spring.
Residents should know that everyone is working together, and that local officials are working with state and federal officials to secure much needed help. Governor Pawlenty has declared a state of emergency and said Minnesota will seek a federal disaster declaration. He will also call a special session during the second week of October in order to assist those who have been impacted by this act of God.
Meanwhile, many of our residents are wondering where they should turn for help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be assessing damages for public assistance in 35 counties and individual assistance in nine of those 35 counties. If you are interested in contacting FEMA, the phone number is 1-800-621-3362. You can also learn more about applying for assistance on their website at www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm. You can also call our local emergency management teams: Cottonwood County at (507) 831-1375; Jackson County at (507) 847-4774; and Nobles County at (507) 295-5212.
In addition, the Minnesota Recovers website is the state’s clearinghouse for all information about floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters that strike Minnesota communities. For information about federal, state and local government disaster-assistance efforts, visit www.minnesotarecovers.org/default.asp.
Also, the Minnesota Department of Health has fact sheets available on its website that cover the basics of what to do after a disaster. It includes everything from basic health safety, clean up, home re-entry, food safety (what you can save and toss), and mold issues and how to protect yourself during cleanup. Visit www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/emergency/natural/floods/index.html for more information.
And, as always, I am available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact me anytime at 1-800-735-2463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please know that as more information regarding flood relief becomes available, I will be sure to pass it along.