In a letter to the White House today, Governor Tim Walz informed President Donald Trump of the recent severe weather events in Minnesota and the looming need for federal disaster relief.

“Minnesotans are hardy people and we have a lot of experience taking care of each other during and after severe weather,” wrote Governor Walz. “Over the past twelve months – not counting this event – Minnesota has experienced ten (10) major disasters.

 

“We believe the uninsured damage to public infrastructure and other costs for this event will far exceed our threshold for public assistance (PA) program disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” Governor Walz continued. “All of this is said to ensure you are aware of what’s happening in Minnesota this spring and to let you know I anticipate requesting help from the federal government.”

 

Governor Walz surveyed damage in Southern Minnesota this weekend with the National Guard and received a briefing on the forthcoming recovery efforts. He has declared a peacetime emergency for the state because of the severe weather, and recently signed a bill appropriating an additional $10,000,000 for Minnesota’s disaster contingency account.

The full text of the Governor’s letter is available below:

Dear Mr. President:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my intention to request federal disaster relief under the Stafford Act in the coming weeks.

This spring has been very challenging in Minnesota.  Following a prolonged bitter cold spell in January, we had historic snowfalls in February.  In March, all that snow quickly melted and triggered widespread flooding across the state.  Late last week, the blizzard that struck broad stretches of the Midwest brought an icy mix of precipitation and strong winds to southern Minnesota, knocking down hundreds of powerlines and leaving many thousands of Minnesotans without electricity.  I declared a peacetime emergency for the state because of the impact this severe spring weather has had on at least three Tribal Nations and 64 of our 87 counties.

We believe the uninsured damage to public infrastructure and other costs for this event will far exceed our threshold for public assistance (PA) program disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  I have directed our state emergency management agency to work with FEMA Region V and coordinate a joint preliminary damage assessment (PDA) to quantify the eligible damages.  Given that many communities are still fighting the floods and more time is needed to fully restore power in southern Minnesota, it will likely be several weeks before a PDA can be properly conducted.

Minnesotans are hardy people and we have a lot of experience taking care of each other during and after severe weather.  I am in awe of the resiliency and determination of our citizens, first responders, emergency managers, voluntary organizations, local governments, and businesses.  Over the past twelve months – not counting this event – Minnesota has experienced ten (10) major disasters.  You issued two federal disaster declarations and the state provided relief for the other eight that did not qualify for federal aid.  Two weeks ago, I signed a bill appropriating an additional $10,000,000 for Minnesota’s disaster contingency account so state government can continue providing the assistance that our local communities need during these challenging times.

All of this is said to ensure you are aware of what’s happening in Minnesota this spring and to let you know I anticipate requesting help from the federal government.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Governor Tim Walz