Residents in Southern Minnesota await federal help for flood recovery

Governor Dayton, other officials, visited flood zone Monday

Susie Jones
July 09, 2018 - 5:25 pm

Susie Jones / WCCO Radio

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When the rain started falling last month, David Schaefer knew it was bad.

"It's going to drown out," he remembers thinking at the time. 

Schaefer farms about 600 acres in Faribault County, where there is standing water in many fields. He knows what that will mean, and where it will hit him.

"Loss of income. That's the main thing," he said. 

Schaefer was among those attending an informal meeting in Blue Earth Monday with Governor Mark Dayton and other elected officials.

"The Minnesota spirit rises above the occasion in a crisis, and I salute you all for doing that," Dayton said.

The Governor promised to get help to those affected.

First District Congressman Tim Walz also praised the strength of the community.

"In Southern Minnesota, we've gotten pretty good at dealing with floods over the years, unfortunately. But the good news from that is that all of you have the capacity and the training that lets us get to recovery," he said.

Minnesota has asked FEMA to do a damage assessment in Minnesota, which is the first step in getting federal assistance.

State Senator Julie Rosen represents the area.

"We don't ask for a lot down here, we really don't. We like to take care of our own needs. But when we do ask, it's because we are on our knees and we need help," Rosen said.

Dayton and other officials visited Windom, Jackson and Blue Earth Monday.

Minnesota Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly says they still need water to recede before they can assess the full impact of the flood waters.