FEMA approves federal disaster declaration for 22 Minnesota counties

The Minnesota governor's office announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a federal disaster declaration for 22 counties in Minnesota impacted by flooding. 

The purpose of a federal disaster declaration is to provide resources to reimburse communities for debris removal, emergency protective measures as well as repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure, according to a government officials.

Gov. Tim Walz and FEMA officials gave an update on the state's flood outlook Friday morning. That news conference can be seen above. 

The approved counties include the following: 

  • Blue Earth
  • Carver
  • Cass
  • Cook
  • Cottonwood
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore
  • Freeborn
  • Goodhue
  • Jackson
  • Lake
  • Le Sueur
  • Murray
  • Nobles
  • Pipestone
  • Rice
  • Rock
  • St. Louis
  • Steele
  • Wabasha
  • Waseca
  • Watonwan

Officials say damage assessments are ongoing and other counties along with other forms of assistance may be added following the assessments' completion. There are currently 20 other counties under review for federal disaster declaration funds.

Gov. Walz released the following statement on FEMA's approval: 

"I’ve seen the damage across our state firsthand – it’s going to take a united effort at every level of government to quickly rebuild and recover. This assistance is going to make all the difference in that recovery. I’m grateful to our partners in the federal government for doing their part, just as Minnesotans have done theirs, filling tens of thousands of sandbags, checking in on their neighbors, and volunteering their time." 

Earlier this week, Gov. Walz sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration. A copy of that letter can be seen below: