Mayor Rybak urges disaster aid for individuals and businesses

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today urged quick approval of disaster aid to individuals and businesses in the wake of the May 22 tornado that devastated a wide swath of north Minneapolis.

Mayor Rybak thanked President Obama for the recent Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance, which helps cover losses to publicly-owned property and facilities, but urged the President to extend the declaration in Hennepin County to include Individual Assistance, which helps cover losses to individuals, families and businesses.

Individual Assistance is urgently needed. High percentages of rental property, subsidized housing and multiple-family dwellings throughout north Minneapolis mean that many individuals may not be covered by private insurance. Homeowners in affected areas may also be subject to high insurance deductibles. In addition, many personal vehicles were lost during the tornado, causing additional hardships to individuals and families.

Along with his letter, Mayor Rybak also sent President Obama a map that shows that the neighborhoods most heavily affected by the May 22 tornado are also those with some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in Minneapolis.

"The financial impacts experienced as a result of this unprecedented disaster have placed severe hardships on the community and its residents and businesses. Local resources, however, are not nearly sufficient to cover all costs from an event of this magnitude," Mayor Rybak wrote.

Published Jun 10, 2011