FEMA surveys flood damage

With the flood waters receding in southern Minnesota, the damage assessment can begin. Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel, along with state and local officials, are looking first at damage along the Minnesota River.

Three assessment teams are looking at flood damage this week in 15 counties stretching from the South Dakota border to the Twin Cities, said Doug Nevile, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Neville said the surveys will begin in northern Minnesota, possibly next week, as the Red River recedes. Eventually the survey teams will come up with a statewide dollar figure for 2011 flood damage/costs.

“That will give us an indication as to whether or not the governor will request a presidential disaster declaration,” Neville said.

In Chippewa County, which includes the city of Montevideo, flood costs could be as much as $500,000, Emergency Management Director Marvin Garbe said.

Garbe, who joined the assessment team surveying damage in the southwestern Minnesota county, said that includes both protective measures like sandbagging, as well as damage to roads, culverts and other public infrastructure.

Neville said the damage assessment teams like to get into the field as soon as possible, but they have to wait for the water to start going down.

“If it’s underwater they can’t see the damage”, he said.

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