Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden said the cleanup in his city is grinding to a halt, as Wadena runs out of volunteers and places to put the mess left behind by last week's tornados.
City officials issued a new request on Wednesday for volunteers to help with an intensive cleanup effort this week. Officials said they need 350 volunteers a day between now and Saturday.
The city then plans a "day of rest" on Sunday to allow residents to reassess their situations and prepare for further recovery efforts.
The city has also set up a relief fund, in partnership with the nonprofit Initiative Foundation and the Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank. The foundation plans to match the first $12,500 in online donations to the Wadena Tornado Relief Fund.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and other teams are looking at the damage left in the wake of the twisters. They're trying to determine if the uninsured storm damage meets a $6.4 million threshold for federal aid.
But Wolden says the paperwork threatens to hang up the recovery effort.
"I need FEMA to get us that information from their sweep, so that the governor's office can get something to president Obama's desk and sign a federal declaration enabling us to move on," he said.
Wolden says the city's former airport is already full of hundreds of acres of downed trees, and more are piling up on the boulevards.
Neighboring areas sent dozens of dump trucks to help for a few days, but needed the trucks back to provide basic services to their communities.
Wadena officials have asked those interested in volunteering on June 26 to call 1-800-543-7709 to register for the cleanup.
The Ottertail County website has information for people interested in volunteering for the cleanup effort.
DONATIONS FOR THE RELIEF EFFORT
The Wadena Tornado Relief Fund is requesting online donations at www.givemn.org. Donation checks can also be mailed to: Wadena Tornado Relief Effort, c/o Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank, PO Box 152, Wadena, MN 56482
HELP FOR FARMERS
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is urging farmers with property damaged in the storm to contact relief programs for help. The agency has released the following information about area resources:
Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network provides financial guidance, technical assistance, legal advice and other forms of assistance to farm families facing serious challenges. MFAN connects farmers with resources to address their human service needs, including 24-hour crisis counseling through Crisis Connection. There is no cost to farmers for MFAN assistance. Farmers can access MFAN through their toll-free helpline, 1-877-898-MFAN, or their website.
Disaster Recovery Loan Program helps farmers pay for the cost of clean-up and removal of debris, lost seed or other crop inputs (including machinery repair), feed and livestock when damaged by high winds, hail, tornado or flood and not covered by insurance. More information about this and other forms of financial assistance can be found on the MDA website.
Farm Advocates provide one-on-one assistance for Minnesota farmers who face crisis caused by either a natural disaster or financial problems. Farm Advocates are trained and experienced in agricultural lending practices, mediation, lender negotiation, farm programs, crisis counseling, and disaster programs. There is no charge or fee for Farm Advocate assistance. More information is available by calling Bruce Lubitz at 218-346-4866 or visiting the Farm Advocates' website.