ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is asking President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster for the state of Minnesota, and is seeking FEMA financial assistance for rebuilding following unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death.
"We’re asking our federal partners to step up and help our communities recover," Gov. Walz said in a statement. "We need to come together to ensure Minnesotans who were victims of this destruction have access to critical infrastructure they need so they can go to the grocery store, pick up their medication, and live their lives. Together, we will rebuild."
The unrest led to several fires and damage to public infrastructure, particularly in the Lake Street community. According to the governor's office, nearly 1,500 businesses in the Twin Cities area were damaged by fires, vandalism or looting.
The state estimates the damage at more than $500 million, with preliminary estimates showing more than $15 million in damage linked to fires.
A disaster declaration would make federal assistance available to "reimburse local governments for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and damage to public buildings and equipment," according to the governor's office.
“We are committed to helping our communities rebuild, but we can’t do this on our own,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said in a statement. “While state, tribal, and local budgets are stretched thin by COVID-19, we need everyone to step up, including the federal government, to restore safety and critical infrastructure to our communities.”