City working with State to reapply for individual tornado damage assistance
Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson thanked Governor Mark Dayton on Monday, June 20 for his decision to reapply for Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help people affected by the devastating May 22 tornado that struck north Minneapolis. The Mayor and Council President met at the White House on Monday, June 20 with top federal officials from a variety of departments to discuss a wide range of federal resources available for North Minneapolis residents and businesses working to recover from the tornado, in addition to FEMA assistance.
The tornado cut a three-mile path through the City's North Side, toppling thousands of trees and causing extensive damage to homes and businesses. More than 3,700 properties were affected, including more than 1,000 rental properties.
Although FEMA declared a major federal disaster for the area, assistance was only granted to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations that provided emergency work following the storm. FEMA denied Minnesota’s request for individual assistance to affected homeowners, renters and businesses.
The need for Individual Assistance is significant.
- Although landlords are required to carry property insurance, most of their renters were not insured.
- Homeowners in affected areas, which include neighborhoods with the City's highest rates of poverty and unemployment, may be subject to high insurance deductibles that they cannot afford.
- Many personal vehicles were also destroyed in the storm, adding to the hardships of people there.
- The North Side has the highest number of foreclosures in the city, with more than 400 real estate-owned properties. The concern is that these properties could now be bought by absentee property owners.
Governor Dayton directed Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Kris Eide to appeal FEMA’s June 13 denial for individual assistance for Hennepin County. Director Eide will be appealing FEMA’s denial and renewing the Governor’s request for individual assistance for Hennepin County, including: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Small Business Disaster loans for Hennepin County.
Since last month’s tornado, thousands of people and several organizations have come forward to help the North Side. This includes the many volunteers who helped clean up storm debris. These resources, however, are not nearly sufficient to cover all costs from a disaster of this magnitude.
Published Jun 21, 2011