Storm Damage Special Session Prep 29 Aug 13

Local officials went before Minnesota lawmakers Wednesday night to detail storm damage to their communities in hopes of securing disaster assistance from a package the Legislature is preparing. The House-Senate working group sought the input as legislators shape the proposal for a September 9th special session. The storms that swept through Minnesota beginning June 20th had winds that reached 77 miles-per-hour, the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, and caused more than $18-million in damage. The damage stretched diagonally from far northwestern Minnesota to the southeastern corner, with 18 counties qualifying for federal disaster assistance, including Sibley and McLeod. The state expects to pay out $4.5-million in aid, or 25%. The money will be drawn from existing funds from other disaster accounts, and can be used for expenses related to debris removal, sandbagging, and repairs to roads, bridges and water-treatment plants, as well as golf courses and other public recreation areas.