ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of a request for federal aid to help northeastern Minnesota homeowners and businesses repair properties damaged in last month's floods.
FEMA says the damage was "not of such severity and magnitude" to qualify for individual disaster aid, according to a letter Dayton's office released Wednesday.
Dayton said Wednesday that the denial was wrong and he is "deeply disappointed."
James Cochran lives in the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth, one of the hardest hit, and while he was upset to hear of FEMA's decision he was encouraged he said by Dayton's appeal.
"I literally lost every possession I have except my car and phone so I am back at square one. I hope this appeal goes through and I hope FEMA comes here to reassess because they weren't thinking when they decided to let these people go," Cochran said.
The governor directed the state's top Homeland Security and Emergency Management official to appeal the decision immediately.
FEMA denied the state's request for individual assistance, saying the damage was "not of such severity and magnitude" to qualify. The denial does not affect a federal disaster request for help repairing more than $100 million in damage to roads and other public infrastructure.
But it raises pressure on Dayton and lawmakers to deliver state help to flood victims after intense rains pounded northeastern Minnesota and communities south of the Twin Cities last month.
Dayton is expected to call a special legislative session in late August to consider state aid for flood recovery.
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