The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 9, 2013

Local towns waiting on storm aid

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Some local governments that sustained damages during the June 21-22 storms are still waiting for compensation.

New Auburn, a town of about 500 in Sibley County, spent about $15,000, mostly to pump rain water away from homes and other structures, City Clerk Wendy Becker said.

“As we were pumping, the water continued to rise,” she said.

Becker said the city has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for most of its reimbursement.

They also plan to submit a request to the state, which approved $4.5 million in disaster aid on Monday, for their leaky fire hall roof. Sibley and Faribault counties were among the 18 that will receive disaster aid money.

Though New Auburn suffered its share of flooded basements, government assistance only covers public infrastructure in these cases.

Bryan Gorman, director of Sibley County Emergency Management, said the traditional cost-share is 75 percent from the federal government, 15 percent from the state and 10 percent from the local government.

But since 2008 the state has decided it will cover the whole cost, he said. Five townships in Sibley County also were damaged, he said, mostly washouts of roads, drainage ditches and culverts.

Becker said the county's emergency management staff was a great help in recovering from the storm.

Wells was among the Faribault County cities damaged by the storm. There, perhaps 8 inches of rain fell in two days. A sinkhole formed and, at one point, a vehicle floated in the water.