Minnesota asks FEMA for help cleaning up after the solstice storms
Summer 2013 will be remembered as one that came in with a literal bang: the sound of trees crashing down throughout the Twin Cities. The state's disaster recovery team estimates that cleanup from the solstice storms, which swept through Minnesota from June 20 to June 26, could cost more than $7.26 million.
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Yesterday, our Department of Public Safety announced that it's asking the feds to help cover the steep tab. That $7.26 million number is the bar above which the federal government will get involved, so the state has requested that FEMA -- that's the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of Hurricane Katrina fame -- come in and make preliminary damage assessments of public property.
Last summer, after severe flooding hit Duluth, FEMA did grant emergency public funding (though it denied individual assistance for homes and businesses). A similar situation unfolded after the tornado touched down in north Minneapolis back in May 2011: The agency assessed the damage and gave the city more than $16 million for public repairs, but left private businesses and homeowners on their own.
This time around, FEMA will start its assessment on July 9, which will be a little over two weeks since the storm tore down more than 1,300 public trees in the Twin Cities and left more than 600,000 with interrupted power.
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