WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, John Kline, and Chip Cravaack  announced that President Barack Obama approved federal assistance to help Minnesota communities repair public infrastructure damaged by recent flooding. Last week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton requested federal assistance in repairing damaged infrastructure, and on Monday, the Minnesota delegation pressed the White House to approve that request.

"I am in Duluth today and can't think of a better place to be to receive the news that the disaster declaration has been issued," said Sen. Klobuchar. "It is a tribute to the people of Northeast Minnesota who have done an outstanding job in responding to these floods that this declaration got done so quickly. I will continue to work with state and local officials for additional assistance to help the region rebuild and return stronger than ever."

"I've visited communities all over northeastern Minnesota and have seen firsthand the incredible damage done by these floods, and I'm pleased that FEMA was able to approve this declaration so quickly," said Sen. Franken. "This declaration will allow these communities to begin the rebuilding process and get things back to normal for everyone affected. And if Governor Dayton makes a request for individual assistance, I'll do everything I can to get that approved as rapidly as possible."

"These storms caused a lot of damage across the state," said Rep. Peterson. "It's critical for all those communities impacted by storm damage to do a thorough assessment and get the information to FEMA."

"I am grateful to President Obama for his efforts to help Minnesota recover from the recent severe storms and flooding," said Rep. McCollum. "Thousands of Minnesotans are in need of immediate partnership and assistance from the federal government to put their lives back together."

"I'm pleased that the White House has acted to expedite our request for a disaster declaration to aid repair of critical infrastructure," said Rep. Cravaack. "I thank my colleagues, Mayor Ness, and the Governor for their coordinated efforts as we work to bring relief to the areas impacted by the floods."

Last week, Governor Dayton announced that damages to public infrastructure totaled over $108 million in 13 Minnesota counties and three tribal nations. Today's federal disaster declaration means that those counties and tribal nations are eligible to apply for funds to repair and replace their public infrastructure. Those costs would be funded at a rate of 75 percent by the federal government.