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CARLTON COUNTY-Local, state, and federal agencies prepare to open three "Disaster Recovery Centers" on Friday morning. Their focus will be on losses of personal property including items from businesses unexpectedly drenched in the Northland flash flood.
In Carlton County, Barnum High School, 3675 Co Rd 140, will host a center. In Pine County, Willow River School (8142 Pine St) will also host and in Duluth the DECC (350 Harbor Dr) will host state and federal officials.
The hours of operation will run as follows:July 6: 1 p.m.-7 p.m.July 7-9: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Officials at these locations will try to figure out what affect the 10 inch downpour had on the region. If FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security feels the damage meets severity criteria the region could be more likely to secure funding to offset personal losses.
Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau says he expects hundreds of stories of property loss.
"And a lot of those people are more than willing to take the time and the energy to find this information but sometimes it's just really hard to know where to start," Genereau said.
Since the start of the flooding on June 19 a lot of emphasis has rested on damages to public property. The new centers will give the first coordinated response to private damage.
Officials expect to hear mostly about basement items like furnaces, water heaters, and other electrical appliances.
State Representative Kerry Gauthier (DFL-Duluth) says receipts, insurance policies, and even general lists of losses will help.
"Also pictures if they've taken pictures, a list of the items they've lost and I tell people to include everything. If you lost dish towels or something like that write it down, write everything down," Gauthier said.
Damaged businesses might have access to extra support, Genereau said.
"Federal subsidies, federal grants, as well as federal loans – 0% or no interest loans. Some of the loans are forgivable," Genereau said.
Meeting results will be sent to Governor Mark Dayton by next week on Friday. That information will also help FEMA make a decision on how to help get the area back to normal.
"Given everything that's happened it may end up being more of a new normal so to speak. But we certainly want to help them get as close to whatever that is as possible," Genereau said.
"There's no guarantee that FEMA's going to help. There's no guarantee that the state's going to help. But if we don't do it we know for sure they won't help," Gauthier said.
Because so many people have lost so much, including transportation, busing services will be running direct routes to the disaster recovery centers.
Arrowhead Transit (http://arrowheadtransit.com/ or 800-862-0175 ext. 104) and the Duluth Transit Authority (http://www.duluthtransit.com or 218-722-7283) will have special schedules.
In Carlton County Fond du Lac Transit will pick you up if you set up at time with them. Call 218-461-7354 for scheduling.