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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL)

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Rep. Ecklund: Federal disaster declaration ‘vital step’ in flood recovery

Friday, July 15, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for several Minnesota counties and tribal nations – including Koochiching and St. Louis counties, and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa – impacted by historic flooding this spring. On June 23, Governor Tim Walz formally requested the federal declaration to assist local communities with costs incurred as a result of the floods.

Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls) said the declaration was welcome news for the region as it works to rebound and recover.

“The historic flooding we experienced this spring was devastating, and many homes, businesses, and resorts have a tough road ahead. The President’s disaster declaration is a vital step in our recovery, and availability of federal resources will make a big difference in helping folks pull through,” Rep. Ecklund said. “Thank you to President Biden for coming through with this declaration, thank you to Governor Walz for his advocacy and support with the federal government, and, especially, thank you to every volunteer who helped sandbag and take other measures to protect people and property, as well as the members of the Minnesota National Guard who put their lives on hold to support the effort.”

The disaster declaration unlocks federal funding for state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged.Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures. In just the first 28 days of emergency operations, Koochiching County spent $1.8 million on protective measures. 

Next week, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Association will tour the area to assess the damage. The agencies will then determine eligibility for impacted residents and businesses to obtain Individual Assistance through FEMA or low interest loans through the SBA.