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AFTER THE STORM: Reporting damage important to recovery

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Public damage data sought by county

BEMIDJI - Beltrami County Emergency Management officials are seeking details on public infrastructure damaged by the July 2 and July 4 storms.

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Officials would like all township officials and other government agencies and jurisdictions to report damage, including repairs required by downed trees and other storm related expenses.

The information will be compiled for possible reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Information should be sent to Beryl Wernberg, the 911 supervisor and emergency management director for the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, by email or phoned in.

Wernberg can be reached by email at beryl.wernberg@co.beltrami.mn.us or phone at (218) 333-8395.

Hotline matches need with helpers

The hotline for storm damage victims and volunteers continues to operate to match those who need assistance with people who can lend help.

Beltrami County Emergency Management said those who need trees cut or can offer the service should call (218) 333-8395.

Those who call may talk with a volunteer answering the phone. If someone doesn't answer, officials ask that callers leave a detailed message, including their name, address, why they are calling and the best phone number where they can be reached.

In addition, volunteers are being sought to answer phones, clean yards and general work at sites.

Businesses asked to document damage

Several businesses sustained property and economic damages as a results of recent storms.

Greater Bemidji, an organization focused on economic development in the area, wants to start gathering storm damage information to share with the state.

While there is no commitment by the state or federal government for reimbursement, Dave Hengel, executive director for Greater Bemidji, said the data would be given to the state. It also allows the organization to be prepared to help companies if disaster assistance is awarded.

Storm-damaged businesses, or those who have been effected economically, can contact Hengel by emailing dhengel@greaterbemidji.com or calling (218) 444-5757.

Help may be available for homeowners

BEMIDJI - Financial assistance for property owners who sustained property damage but do not have homeowners insurance may be available to those who meet certain criteria.

The Headwaters Regional Development Commission said some funding could be available for homeowners who sustained damage to their primary residence, have lived in the home for at least six months, have less than $25,000 in assets and fall within income guidelines for their household size.

Those who qualify will be required to obtain insurance before repair work begins. HRDC has information available about alternative policies for homeowners who can't obtain a traditional policy.

Call (218) 333-6530 for more information.

Demolition sites remaining open

BEMIDJI - The city extended the use of its demolition site on Rako Street for property owners to drop off trees, branches and leaves.

The site will remain open from 4-8 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. July 21, the last day it will be open.

The disposal site is open to city property owners, who must bring proof of residency.

For more information, call (218) 759-1850.

Beltrami County's demolition site is open to county residents.

The demolition landfill, 2332 N. Plantagenet Drive SE, is east of U.S. Highway 71, near Maple Ridge Golf Course.

It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call (218) 755-1440.

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