TWO HARBORS - FEMA and Homeland Security Emergency Management officials continued their tour of damage assessments in the Northland with a stop in Lake County Wednesday.
Wednesday's reports are the first step in securing federal aid for counties to receive the funding to rebuild.
Camera and notepad in hand, a FEMA representative detailed Lake County's most flood–damaged areas.
The crew's first stop took them to Silver Creek Township where a culvert was washed down and twisted; leaving a gaping hole in the road.
The tours were part of a busy day that started with putting all of the damage on paper.
"We're looking to return the damaged facilities back to the pre–disaster conditions," Bill Hirte from Homeland Security and Emergency Management said.
Each county agency brought in the details they collected over the past week.
Sharing the information was the first step in getting some federal aid to help with the recovery.
"I am taking what the applicants are saying pretty much verbatim," FEMA Project Officer Larry Duke said.
While Wednesday's collection of paperwork and details moved the process of receiving aid forward, they were still preliminary assessments for a much longer process.
"Right now, we're not looking for real specific information," Hirte said. "We're looking for real general stuff."
Rough estimates collected Wednesday have to meet the minimum that is set for a county to get help from FEMA.
Lake County's bar is set at just under $37,000.
"The dollar amounts at a minimum will probably reach that number and probably exceed that for this county," Hirte said.
FEMA's reports from this week will show those up the chain of command just how much assistance is really needed.
"We'll use that to explain to the Governor and the President the financial strain for this county and how it would affect normal city operations," Hirte said.
It's a lengthy process but one that is all worth it to make sure each county is back in line.
FEMA will head to St. Louis, Carlton and Pine counties Thursday.
After the assessments wrap up, President Obama would be able to make a disaster declaration, which officials say could take two to three weeks.
After that, larger FEMA crews would then head back to the Northland to get a more precise look at the damage and assistance needed.
To learn more about the minimum damage totals for all 13 counties affected, a list is provided below.
Minimum Damage Requirements for FEMA Eligibility by County (based on $3.39 per capita)-
Crow Wing- $211,876
St. Louis- $678,767