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County still needs aid for storm damage

By Staff | Aug 25, 2013

The storm has long since passed, but Faribault County is still waiting for skies to clear.

State Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont visited the County Board meeting on Tuesday to discuss the affects of the June storms.

“I need to gather as much information from Faribault County as I can,”?Gunther says. “I?want to be prepared to do the best we can.”

One concern that was brought up at the meeting came from Veteran Services Officer Dave Hanson.

After the June 12 storms, specifically in the Wells area, Hanson received many phone calls from veterans dealing with damages to their homes.

He applied for a grant through Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) that would assist veterans in repairs up to $1,500.

“I sent newspaper articles and news video from the storm coverage to show how much the storm affected the area,”?Hanson explains. Faribault County did not receive the grant and Hanson asked Gunther for assistance for area veterans.

“You’d think the legislature would want to do whatever they can,”?Gunther says. “I’m surprised they’re not jumping over themselves to make that happen.”

Mike Gormley and Scott Adams of the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office also attended the meeting to discuss storm damages with Gunther.

The main concern expressed was the June 12 storm, where a majority of the damage occurred, and isn’t being recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

“We had the highest damage during the first storm,”?Adams explains. “We have submitted that three different times and it has been denied all three times.”

He explains that FEMA hesitates to recognize that storm as a disaster due to the fact that the storm hit sporadically throughout the county.

Minnesota Lake and Wells had a majority of the flooding and damage, but the various areas that received damage have submitted worksheets to FEMA.

“We served as a guide to help everyone complete the paperwork outlining the effects of the storm,”?Adams adds.

Gunther requested a summary or additional copies of those worksheets so he would be prepared to present Faribault County’s case in receiving some federal assistance.

The storms hit on June 12 and again on June 22. It was stated that Wells received between $90,000 and $100,000 in damages that would not be covered by insurance.

FEMA?has requested information from the June 22 storm despite the fact that most of the damage had already been done during the previous storm.

“We’re here to be used for your problems,”?Gunther says. “And, I will be sure to bring the Veterans Service issue up as well.”