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Minnesota Flood Update:

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News Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

MOORHEAD, Minn. - Individuals and businesses in seven Minnesota counties that sustained damage from the recent Red River Valley flooding have until June 9 to register for federal assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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To date, nearly $3.8 million in federal assistance have been approved for residents of Beltrami, Clay, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Traverse and Wilkin counties.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center advises that the Small Business Administration will continue to be located at the Beltrami County Lakeside Service Center Conference Room at 505 Bemidji Ave N. for at least another week.

However, FEMA officials will close their division in this office at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Any homeowner who experienced damage during springtime flooding should visit with the FEMA folks prior to its departure.

Flood survivors are urged to have completed their initial FEMA registration by calling 1-800-621-FEMA prior to their arrival at the staffed center where one-on-one assistance with disaster aid will be available.

The following is a summary of ongoing disaster assistance as of close of business May 14:

E $1,841,417 in disaster assistance grants under the Individuals and Households Program has been approved. This includes $1,773,600 in Housing Assistance (549 applications) and $67,817 in Other Needs Assistance (106 applications).

E 1,131 applications have been received from the seven designated counties. Nearly 50 percent of those applications were made online.

E $1,929,000 has been approved in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans.

E 1,026 people have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to personally talk with recovery specialists or to get help with SBA low-interest loan applications, including 812 who have visited the DRC in Moorhead. This past week, FEMA opened DRCs in Bemidji, Crookston, Minn., and Oslo, Minn.

These figures do not yet include Public Assistance grants to fund repair and restoration of storm-damaged facilities and services provided by counties, cities, townships and private non-profit organizations that deliver essential public services.

Individuals are encouraged to apply for assistance before visiting a DRC by calling toll-free 800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 800-462-7585. FEMA operators are available from 6 a.m. to midnight CDT seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to assist registrants. Registration can also be completed online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. The application deadline is June 9.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

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Pioneer staff reports
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