Why Washington County was left off FEMA’s disaster declaration list

Why Washington County was left off FEMA’s disaster declaration list

Why Washington County was left off FEMA’s disaster declaration list

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a federal disaster declaration for 22 Minnesota counties affected by flooding, but not yet for Washington County.

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, who represents Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, joined FOX 9 Sunday morning to discuss FEMA’s disaster declaration.

Washington County, which borders the St. Croix River and the Mississippi River, was not included in FEMA’s disaster declaration. However, state officials have said assessments are ongoing and other counties and other forms of assistance may be added once assessments are complete.

“I think Washington County will be added to the list,” Craig said, noting that he visited Grey Cloud Island in Washington County, where access to the island has been cut off due to flooding. He also noted that there is a lot of debris that needs to be cleaned up. “I think the cost of cleanup, the cost of mitigation, will exceed what is needed for federal assistance.”

There are currently 20 other counties under review for federal disaster declaration funding.

READ MORE: Live updates: Latest news on Minnesota flooding

Craig said he requested that the five counties he represents be included in the federal disaster declaration. Le Seuer and Rice counties are on the list, but Craig says he is seeking to have Washington, Scott and Dakota counties added as well, because all have been affected by flooding.

FEMA disaster declaration in Minnesota

The purpose of a federal disaster declaration is to provide resources to reimburse communities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, as well as repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure, according to government officials.

The counties approved as of Saturday, June 29 include the following:

  • Blue Earth
  • Carver
  • Box
  • Cook
  • Cottonwood
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore
  • born free
  • goodhue
  • jackson
  • Lake
  • The Sueur
  • Murray
  • Nobles
  • Pipe stone
  • Rice
  • Rock
  • Saint Louis
  • Steel
  • Wabasha
  • Waseca
  • watonwan

Governor Walz released the following statement regarding FEMA’s approval:

“I’ve seen the damage in our state firsthand; it will take a concerted effort at all levels of government to rebuild and recover quickly. This assistance will make all the difference in that recovery. I’m grateful to our partners in the federal government for doing their part, just as Minnesotans have done theirs, filling tens of thousands of sandbags, checking on their neighbors and volunteering their time.”