Communities in dire need of disaster aid

It was good to see Gov Mark Dayton, U.S. Sen Tina Smith and U.S. Rep. Colin Peterson touring flooded areas in southwest Minnesota. All three traveled the region looking at damage caused by flooding this past week.

The flash flooding caused by last week’s heavy rain caused significant damage to Tracy, Walnut Grove and Wabasso. Residents in Marshall suffered water damage to basements. Roads have been washed out near Walnut Grove and Lynd. And some farmers suffered crop loss due to the flooding.

While the three politicians showed genuine concern for southwest Minnesota by personally checking out several communities hit hard by the flooding, it was unfortunate their tour did not include a stop in Tracy. The damage there was severe and widespread.

The good news is that Gov. Dayton has already declared a state of emergency in the affected counties, and this should trigger a disaster declaration that will bring disaster aid to the area. Townships, cities and counties don’t have a lot of money on hand to deal with major road reconstruction. We will need state and federal funds to alleviate the burden of repairing the damage that has been caused.