St. Louis County to seek disaster relief
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday morning declaring a local state of emergency -- a move that could provide access to state and possibly federal disaster relief aid.
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday morning declaring a local state of emergency - a move that could provide access to state and possibly federal disaster relief aid.
The declaration could position the county to recoup costs associated with damage it sustained from violent July storms - one on the 5th and another on the 21st. Those events resulted in flash flooding, electrical outages, lightning strikes and significant damage, with straight-line winds gusting up to 100 mph.
County Administrator Kevin Gray said the county is confident it will qualify for state aid, which requires a demonstrable minimum loss of about $357,000. However, he noted that the threshold for federal relief is higher - around $750,000 - making that request less certain.
"We're looking at roads, bridges, water-control facilities, public buildings and equipment and utilities. But quite frankly I think most of our charges, oddly enough in this event, are really around debris removal and emergency protective measures we had to take, whether it's search and rescue, signs and emergency and temporary repairs, dealing with overhead powerlines and that sort of thing," he said
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said the city should be able to piggyback on the county's request for disaster assistance.
Gray confirmed that all municipalities and local governmental units in the county, including Duluth, would be eligible to submit their expenses as part of the application.
St. Louis County will work with all affected parties to compile a damage and impact assessment report over the next several weeks and will submit it to Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management to see if it qualifies for aid.