Lawmakers actively working to secure resources for impacted communities
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) visited International Falls to survey the damage caused by recent flooding and storms.
Klobuchar, Smith, and Walz were joined by local elected officials and representatives from the Minnesota National Guard and the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).
“We’ve got to help out because there’s been so much damage…Senator Smith and I wanted to come here ourselves because we’ve got to make the case to the President for getting federal aid,” said Klobuchar. “Our focus is to help get you out of this emergency and get the word out.”
“This is the worst flooding the region has experienced in over 70 years. It was heartbreaking to see all of the damage today,” said Smith. “But it was great to see neighbors coming together to take care of one another, which is what rural communities are all about. I’m optimistic that this will qualify for federal aid and I will continue working to help communities receive the support they need.”
“We will continue to support Minnesotans recovering from this Spring’s storm damage and ongoing flooding,” said Walz. “Surveying the storm damage and sandbagging operations firsthand in International Falls further emphasized how grateful I am for the National Guard’s efforts in northwest Minnesota. We will continue to provide resources to those affected by these storms and help prevent damage from future severe weather.”
Photos can be found HERE.
Klobuchar, Smith, and Walz have been actively working to secure resources for communities throughout the state that have been impacted by the recent flooding damage and the cold, wet spring weather.
At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing last week, Klobuchar secured Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s commitment to provide disaster assistance for farmers affected by adverse weather. Earlier in May, Klobuchar led the entire Minnesota Congressional delegation in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide federal assistance for impacted Minnesota farmers. Also in May, Klobuchar held a virtual roundtable with local officials from across the state to discuss their ongoing efforts to support communities affected by the severe adverse weather.
Senator Smith has a long history of assisting with disaster response, dating back to when she served as Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. She joined Senator Klobuchar in leading the Minnesota delegation’s request for aid from USDA and has also advocated for the federal government to expedite their emergency response programs so people can see relief quickly and lessen the burden on families and communities. Last fall, she accompanied Senator Klobuchar and Governor Walz to survey damage from the Greenwood fire and was active in pushing for federal aid for the area.
Governor Walz issued Executive Order 22-11 in early May, authorizing temporary regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers supporting spring crop planting in Minnesota. In late April, Governor Walz authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support for emergency flood operations in northwest Minnesota, including personnel, equipment, and resources. Governor Walz also authorized Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter support for the State of North Dakota’s flood response. Governor Walz has met with farmers impacted by this severe flooding and toured a damaged farm in northwest Minnesota.