Letter to Hon. Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States - Klobuchar, Smith Lead Entire Minnesota Congressional Delegation in Urging Biden Administration to Approve Minnesota Request for Disaster Declaration


Dear Mr. President:

We write to you in strong support of the state of Minnesota's requests for Major Disaster
Declarations under the Stafford Act to assist communities that are working to recover from severe
weather this spring, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds, and flooding. These natural
disaster events have caused significant damage in our state, and we ask that you quickly grant
approval for federal government disaster assistance.

The weather this spring was colder than average, and late snowstorms have combined with
above-normal precipitation to cause high water and flooding throughout central, western, and
northern Minnesota. Beginning on April 22, 2022, a spring storm system with very heavy rains and
strong winds caused flash flooding in northwestern Minnesota. The worst of the conditions is in the
Red River Valley and the Rainy River Basin. Year-to-date precipitation at the border in
International Falls has been more than double the 20-year average and is more than 20 percent
higher than the next closest year of 2013.

On May 9, May 11, and May 12, 2022, three severe and destructive storm systems crossed our
state from southwest to northeast. The last of these storms produced sustained winds of 60 miles
per hour with gusts reaching up to 94 mph--the highest recorded in the state since 2014. These
winds caused widespread damage to farm buildings including barns, grain bins, silos, and
fences; public buildings including fire halls, hospitals, and community centers; utility and
highway infrastructure including rural electric cooperative power lines, telephone poles, and
county roads; and several hundred households. The damage to farm buildings alone was
extensive enough that our Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director has requested
Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance through an Administrator's Physical Loss
Notice (APLN).

Joint federal and state emergency management teams have conducted preliminary damage
assessments and have determined that the losses meet the threshold for federal assistance under
the Stafford Act through a Major Disaster Declaration. Governor Walz has submitted two
official requests for disaster assistance; one regarding the flooding that began on April 22 and is
still in effect in some areas, and a second letter regarding wind/storm damage for the period of
May 8-13. These two requests cover 38 counties and 4 tribal nations. The letters were dated June
22 and June 23.

The resiliency of Minnesotans during times of natural disaster has been shown time and time
again. When flood waters rise and homes are damaged, volunteers and neighbors are quick to
fill sandbags, clean up debris, and lend a hand to those in need. Impacted communities will
repair the damage and rebuild following these disasters, but timely federal assistance will speed
up the recovery effort.

We strongly support the state of Minnesota's requests for a Major Disaster Declaration under
the Stafford Act and ask that you grant its approval to assist communities that are working to
recover from severe weather this spring.