ST. PAUL - A major disaster has been officially declared for the 13 Minnesota counties and three tribal nations affected by the flood.
Public infrastructure and facilities in those areas will now be eligible for federal public assistance.
Preliminary damage assessments revealed more than $108 million in costs and damages. Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley and St. Louis counties as well as the Fond du Lac Tribal Nation, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Grand Portage Tribal Nation are included in the disaster declaration.
FEMA will fund 75 percent of the approved cost; the remaining 25 percent is a state/local match.
Eligible work includes debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.
Duluth Mayor Don Ness said he was anxious to start the rebuilding process.
"It allows for communities like Moose Lake and Thompson, and like the City of Duluth, to rebuild in the areas that have been damaged by these storms without putting undue burden on those taxpayers," Mayor Ness said.
Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon was in Duluth Friday when she found out about the approval of federal funding. She said it's now very likely Gov. Mark Dayton will declare a special session to decide who will get the 25% of state funding.
"I also think that it is very likely that the legislature will be very cooperative and collaborative with the governor in developing a package that helps out," Prettner Solon said.