Federal aid for storms not likely

10:42 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The Insurance Federation of Minnesota estimates the recent storms could cost around $100 million, but at this point the state has not asked the federal government for any help financially, and it most likely won't.

In order for the state to qualify for federal aid, there has to be $7.2 million dollars of uninsured damage to public facilities and infrastructure. The threshold for individual help is also pretty high. Even people involved in last year's flood in Duluth were not eligible for individual assistance.

Gov. Mark Dayton praised local municipalities for its response Tuesday, along with crews with Xcel Energy, but he says he has no plans at this point of asking for federal help.

"We have not been asked by the city of Minneapolis or anyone else from the metropolitan area for assistance," he said.

Typically municipalities ask the state for help and then the governor will determine if he will ask for federal assistance.

Joe Foreman of New Hope believes federal aid is necessary.

"I thought that maybe they could declare this a disaster. I mean over a half a million people without power for days on end," he said.

Crews just restored his power Tuesday afternoon only after he purchased a generator to keep his sump pump working and threw out food when his basement refrigerator lost power.

But others, like Julie Strott of Bloomington, believe the only help that is necessary is the kind neighbors provide.

"I think it's time for the community to come together and depend on one another," she said in a darkened home.

She was the last one on her block to get power restored late Tuesday night. Her neighbor was powering her refrigerator and coffee maker with a long extension cord extending across her lawn and into her garage.

"I think that's where we find our real strength, with our neighbors," she said.

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