Franken Expects MN Storm Damage to Eclipse $7.4M Threshold

Posted at: 06/25/2014 11:58 AM

Photo: ABC 6 News
Photo: ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Senator Al Franken Wednesday told ABC 6 News that following his first-hand tour of flood and storm damaged counties a week prior, he expects the recovery costs to go beyond $7.4 million dollars.

That figure is important, because it's the amount needed to trigger possible federal assistance through FEMA.

Governor Mark Dayton earlier this month declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, and recently extended that declaration for another month.

Franken says hail damaged more than 100,000 acres of farmland and floodwaters damaged numerous roads and bridges.

He says if damage totals surpass the $7.4 million, the state can ask the White House for a Presidential disaster declaration.

If granted, federal emergency funds would pay for the majority of repairs to public infrastructure. Individual homeowners would have to fall back on insurance.

As for farmers, Franken says the recently passed 5-year farm bill contains enhanced crop insurance, which will help farmers recover approximately 80% of their losses.

Franken told ABC 6 News that during his tour of Northern Minnesota, he saw the best in people. Some 400 people were sandbagging to help prevent further damage from widespread floodwaters.