FEMA Officials Assess Flood Damage in Hennepin, Carver Counties

Updated: 07/11/2014 4:59 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

Flooding near the Crow River in Delano, Minnesota
Flooding near the Crow River in Delano, Minnesota

Crews from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are back in Minnesota to survey more of the damage from the recent flooding.

Officials from FEMA and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will look at 15 counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Dakota, Freeborn, Hennepin, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Pipestone, Ramsey, Scott, Sibley and Steele.

The assessment is required before Gov. Mark Dayton can request a presidential disaster declaration.

On Wednesday, the FEMA tour will be assessing damage in St. Louis Park near Methodist Hospital, which is where Minnehaha Creek overflowed its banks and flooded the hospital grounds.

On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners asked to be included in the state and federal disaster declaration. County officials say damage to infrastructure has added up to about $14.9 million as of Tuesday.

Carver County is also on the list for Wednesday; it's one area emergency management officials say was hit the hardest with an estimated $9.2 million in losses. Portions of the roads were completely washed away. Fortunately, officials in Carver County are now reporting some progress on roads: Highway 101 reopened Monday, as has County Road 11 in Jordan.

FEMA’s preliminary damage assessments will continue to Ramsey County later this week, where there was about $2 million in damage around the Mississippi River.

In other parts of the state, Voyageurs National Park has closed part of its park as it looks at the damage done by flooding and what it will take to repair it. The parts closed for assessment should be open around July 21.

FEMA will decide whether Minnesota will be eligible for federal aid; the threshold is $7.3 million in damages, and initial estimates indicate that threshold will be met. Officials already viewed damage in four Minnesota counties last week: Jackson, Nobles, Renville and Rock.