AUDIO: Flood damage costs rising

AUDIO: Flood damage costs rising Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Damage estimates from widespread flooding in Minnesota have continued to rise.

Minnesota's deputy director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Joe Kelly, says last month's excessive rainfall led to a unique disaster. The entire state was affected by flooding, and communities are in different states of recovery.

Flash floods in southwestern Minnesota washed out roads, bridges and railroad tracks. They also damaged a power plant and a dam.

At least 51 of the state's 87 counties have reported flood damage.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated Rock County a primary disaster zone. That's where storms damaged about 100,000 acres of farmland. Under federal regulations, counties bordering the primary disaster zone also qualify, allowing farmers in Murray, Nobles and Pipestone counties to seek federal assistance.

Kelly says most flooded areas are moving into the recovery phase

Kelly says the FEMA damage assessments are continuing

Kelly says having the federal government as a cost sharing partner is crucial

Kelly says most of the flood damage is to roads

Kelly says there's a lot of debris that needs to be cleaned up too

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