Rep. Chris Swedzinski and Sen. Gary Dahms.

Disaster recovery resources available for residents affected by severe storms

State Senator Gary Dahms [R-Redwood Falls], Representative Chris Swedzinski [R-Ghent), and Representative Paul Torkelson [R-Hanska] want residents of southwestern Minnesota to know that there are several state resources available to residents impacted by recent severe storms.

The recent torrential rains, flash flooding, and tornadoes led Governor Dayton to declare a state of emergency in 36 Minnesota counties, including Brown, Lyon, Redwood and Renville in District 16.

“My heart goes out to our southwestern Minnesota communities devastated by the recent storms,” said Senator Dahms.

“However, there is no question the neighborhoods and communities in our region will rise up together and overcome our collective adversity. We are not alone in this endeavor; resources in Saint Paul stand ready to lend a helping hand toward recovery. It is important for everyone to know what resources are available and how to access them.”

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency has disaster recovery resources for homeowners, renters, business owners, local officials, and more:

The Department of Commerce has information that will help guide homeowners who have experienced flood damage:

The Department of Commerce also provides a detailed disaster information packet:

The Minnesota Rural Finance Authority offers a zero-percent Disaster Loan Program to help farmers with flood clean up, repairs, and replacement costs not covered by insurance:

"People in our area are more than willing to lend a hand to friends and neighbors and assist with on-the-ground recovery efforts but, at some point, finances can play a major factor when natural disasters such as flooding occur," Rep. Swedzinski said.

"That is why the state offers programs such as these and I hope people will take a look at what is available and take advantage of assistance that can help in this process. My door also always is open if constituents are looking for some direction."

As private property will be the most difficult to get help to fix, anyone with property issues from the flood waters – even if minor – should be sure to report it to their local emergency personnel.

Emergency Management Region 5 (Southwest) Program Coordinator: Mark Marcy, (612) 619-6115

Brown County Emergency Management: 14 South State, P.O. Box 248, New Ulm Phone: (507) 233-6644; Laine Sletta, Director Email:; Robert Santaella, Assistant Director Phone: (507) 233-6642 Email:

Lyon County Emergency Management: 611 West Main, Box 28, Marshall Phone: (507) 929-6615 Tammy VanOverbeke, Director Email:; Mark Mather, Deputy Director Email:

Redwood County Emergency Management: 303 E Third Street, Redwood Falls Phone: (507) 637-4035 Jim Sandgren, Director Email:

Renville County Emergency Management 105 So. 5th Street, Suite 210, Olivia Phone: (320) 523-3838 Mike Hennen, Director Email:

The governor’s emergency declaration directs state agencies to help with recovery and requests the Federal Emergency Management Association to conduct a preliminary damage assessment.

If that assessment finds more than $7.7 million in damage, Minnesota will be eligible for a federal disaster declaration.

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