St. Paul, MN -- The incident period for the Minnesota disaster declaration has been reopened in response to continuing severe weather experienced throughout the state, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the action was taken following a letter of request by Governor Jesse Ventura that indicated the state sustained severe damages to the public infrastructure, private homes and businesses from the recent severe storms, straight--line winds and tornadoes.
"We're working with local communities to determine the extent of damages," Kevin Leuer, director and state coordinating officer, Minnesota Division of Emergency Management, said. "Our assessments will indicate additional counties where federal assistance will be requested. We want to make sure residents and communities get the help they need to recover from these storms."
The original declaration covered damages resulting from the severe winter storms, tornadoes and flooding occurring between March 23 and May 29. Currently 60 counties and four tribal governments throughout the state are eligible to receive various types of federal and state disaster assistance.
"FEMA will review the damage assessments and determine if assistance should be expanded in certain areas or additional counties added to the declaration," Jim Roche, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said.
Anyone who suffered damages as a result of these storms may call the FEMA toll--free application number, 1 800 462--9029, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The number to call for the hearing and speech--impaired is 1 800 462--7585.