Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday requested a federal disaster declaration for counties that experienced spring flooding.
The governor is requesting a disaster declaration for 20 counties. Preliminary damage assessments in those counties put the cost of spring flooding at $10.8 million.
Damage is still being tallied in another 15 counties, and Department of Public Safety Communications Director Doug Neville said the cost will go higher.
"There's a lot of cost with putting in the protective measures, getting the sandbags, building the clay levees," Neville said. "Plus, when the water is high and the flow rates are high like we experienced this spring, roads can get washed out and bridges and culverts can get washed away as well."
Neville said most of the cost is for building levees and damage to roads and bridges. He said there's relatively little damage to private property.
"We had a lot of lead time before this event," he said. "There were a lot of protective measures put into place. I think we fared pretty well, and I think communities all over the state on both the Minnesota, Mississippi and Red Rivers did a great job of protecting their communities so we're not seeing a huge impact on the individual assistance side.
A federal disaster declaration means local governments are reimbursed for 75 percent of their flood-related costs.
Dayton is recommending the state pay the 25 percent local share.
The minimum damage for Minnesota to qualify for a federal disaster declaration is $6.5 million.
Some of the worst flooding happened in the Red River Valley. The Fargo-Moorhead area spent weeks filling sandbags and building levees.
Moorhead reports $2.5 million in flood-related costs. Fargo costs will be nearly $9.5 million.
The Army Corps of Engineers also spent about $4.5 million building emergency levees in the Fargo-Moorhead area.