Assessing the Damage

Weather Assessment

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ALBERT LEA, MN — It has been a wet, windy spring and now that the summer weather is finally here it seems like we are in the clear, but some in our area are still cleaning up what the storms left behind.

FEMA and the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security were in Albert Lea Thursday to see what Freeborn County was left with in the wake of the storm.

Last month’s storms left the area with quite a bit of damage.

“We just added it up and it was just over 37,000 dollars just in our township,” said Scott Marpe, Chair for Nunda Township.

He said that damage showed up on 22 miles of gravel roads where culverts blew out and filled with dirt.

While they have a budget set aside for things like snow removal, maintaining gravel roads, ditch maintenance and more, the storm ate that money up.

“We’re within our budget until these major occurrences come along and that’s when we ask for a little help from the state, local and county government,” Marpe said.

Representatives from those governments were in the area to assess the damage the storm left behind in Freeborn County.

To qualify for assistance the county needs at least $107,829.75 worth of damage. That is based off of a formula that includes population.

With numbers like Nunda Township’s, it is likely that they will meet the criteria.

“With what our numbers were and what they’ve seen the last couple of days, it’s likely that Governor Dayton will send a request for presidential declaration to President Obama,” said Freeborn County Emergency Management Coordinator, Rich Hall.

While the storm damage numbers look like that support will be coming to the area, those who need to clean up are not waiting around.

“We can’t wait until the money comes because it might be a year or two and we have to make the roads passable for school buses and daily commerce,” Marpe said.

Hall said they have been getting a lot of phone calls from people asking if they can get support for damage to their personal property. He reminds us that this is for public assistance only.

He added that they expect the final numbers to be on Governor Dayton’s desk within the next week or two. They will then be sent to President Obama where he will have control from there.

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