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Sen. Langeth introduces flood-relief legislation

State Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, introduced legislation that will help the state secure about $11 million in federal disaster aid for communities affected by spring flooding.

On Tuesday, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration for 18 Minnesota counties and one tribal nation impacted by flooding earlier this year. The declaration makes the state and counties eligible for federal funding to assist in the repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure.

However, federal funding only covers 75 percent of the total cost of repairs, and requires state and local governments to cover the remaining 25 percent.

The bill introduced by Sen. Langseth (S.F. 3379) would provide $3.7 million in state funding in order to secure the federal dollars.

"We need to move quickly to get this critical funding approved," said Langseth, who chairs the Senate's Capital Investment Committee and earlier this year secured more than $60 million for flood hazard mitigation projects in the state.

"While the hard work of Minnesotans meant much of the flooding across the state was contained, many areas still experienced considerable damage. The sooner we can get this money into the local communities where it is needed, the better."

The counties included in the federal disaster designation are Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Clay, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Scott, Sibley, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine, as well as the tribal nation of the Upper Sioux Community. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more designations may be made at a later date, if warranted.