WINDOM -- Visible damage and standing water are still present in Cottonwood County, weeks after severe weather flooded the area.

This week, FEMA is assessing the damages in Windom and surrounding cities as one stop of an evaluation tour across Minnesota.

The goal is to obtain a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which would allot funds to cities affected by June and July's storms.

FEMA's role is conducting preliminary damage assessments to evaluate the cost of repairs. Repair costs must reach $7.7 million statewide in order to qualify for assistance.

After assessments, Homeland Security and Emergency Management will write a letter for Gov. Mark Dayton, who will then send it to President Trump, requesting assistance. If he declares the damages an emergency, FEMA will begin disseminate funds to affected counties.

Actually obtaining funds could take more than a year.

--KEYC News 12