Governor Walz Responds To Storm Damage By Authorizing State Disaster Assistance
ST. PAUL, Minn – Governor Tim Walz announced the authorization of state disaster assistance for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for damage sustained from severe thunderstorms with hurricane force winds on Oct. 12, 2019, and for Carlton, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, and Roseau counties for damage sustained from heavy rains and flooding from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17, 2019.
“It’s our responsibility to help our local governments and tribal nations recover from the unprecedented weather events that occurred this fall,” said Governor Walz. “The damage caused by these heavy rains, flooding, and hurricane force winds presents significant challenges to these communities. That’s why we’re authorizing state disaster assistance to aid in recovery efforts.”
On October 12, 2019, a severe thunderstorm with heavy rains and hurricane force winds exacerbated the historically high water levels of Lake Superior, causing tremendous damage to local roads and public facilities on the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribal lands. The tribal council declared a local emergency, and a joint DPS-HSEM/county preliminary damage assessment identified $253,535 in eligible damages.
Beginning on September 20, 2019, and continuing through October 17, 2019, Carlton, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, and Roseau Counties were subject to persistent heavy rain and flooding, resulting in local roads washing out, rivers and streams exceeding food stage for weeks, and even the city of Oslo in Marshall County being cut off by floodwaters.
All five counties declared local emergencies. A preliminary damage assessment conducted by the counties and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DPS-HSEM) identified $1,325,466 in eligible damages.
As authorized by the Governor, the State Disaster Assistance Contingency Account will cover 75% of eligible costs, with the county and tribal governments responsible for the remaining 25%.