MANKATO, MN - Representatives from cities and townships across Blue Earth County met at the Justice Center to submit their preliminary damage figures to the state.

The early totals are showing that Blue Earth County sustained nearly $1.7 million of damage during this spring's flooding and blizzard.

Chief Deputy Mike Maurer, emergency management director for the county, said, "Those numbers can fluctuate. Some can be added and some can be taken out because it may qualify or not qualify."

Those damage totals are mostly related to infrastructure in the county.

"Anything that's not covered by insurance that's owned by the public is being reported today.  Roads, bridges, power lines if it's a cooperative and items like that," Maurer said.

The county is also working on updating their 5-year mitigation plan.

If a federal disaster declaration is approved, 15% of those funds could be used on items in the county's mitigation plan.

"That fund becomes a competitive grant fund that we can go after for certain things.  Whether it be erosion issues where houses are eroding away and going into the river, whether it be houses that are continually flooding," Maurer said.

Minnesota's Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency and FEMA were on hand to walk city and township officials through the process.

David Mace with FEMA said, "We're just verifying that the information is correct and that it's eligible damages and that information will then be put together by the governor for a Presidential declaration request."

Even if the governor signs a disaster declaration, it is still not a sure thing that the President will sign a federal declaration.

"The standard that the government uses is, 'is the disaster beyond the capability of the state and local governments to respond to?'  So that's a fairly subjective standard and obviously there's a lot of leeway there," said Mace.

If the President does sign the disaster declaration, FEMA officials will be back in Minnesota to compile final damage numbers.

--KEYC News 12