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DULUTH - Federal lawmakers said they were confident Minnesota would qualify for disaster relief for infrastructure damage caused by the floods.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D) and U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) expressed their confidence Minnesota would meet FEMA requirements after touring some of the hardest hit areas Friday.
"What we've seen here is some pretty sort of spectacular examples of what nature can do," Franken said.
The spots that are considered critical to repair will be fixed before aid is approved; some already had crews on site Friday.
FEMA officials will tour the damage in Northern Minnesota on Tuesday.
The legislators said they were confident that after shortly after the visit, a federal disaster area will be declared and the doors for federal aid will open.
"That can mean that for infrastructure damage, public infrastructure damage, uninsured damage, things like roads and other things, you can get 75 percent of that paid by the federal government," Klobuchar said.
"We want to make sure that we get this done and get it right and get the aid to the people who need it," Cravaack said.
Repairs that were completed before disaster approval can still receive federal reimbursement.
The legislators said it will be a recovery effort that takes some time, but one Northlanders can handle.
"Northern Minnesota is incredibly resilient," Klobuchar said. "Whether streets are broken or buildings are lost, the spirit of northern Minnesota is never broken."
The legislators also visited Proctor and Carlton County Friday.
Gov. Dayton plans to visit the damage in Moose Lake next week.