Minnesota will appeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of individual assistance for Hennepin County following the deadly May 22 tornado.
Last week, FEMA denied the state's request for individual assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses, saying the damage from the tornado was not beyond the combined capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies.
Minnesota's director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Kris Eide, said the state disagrees with FEMA's decision.
"The governor and the mayor feel that it is beyond the local and state capability because there are still unmet needs out there — there are still needs for food clothing and shelter," Eide said.
Preliminary assessments put the damage to public infrastructure at $16.3 million. FEMA did approve public assistance for Hennepin and Anoka Counties for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities.
Eide said individual assistance is badly needed for residents in the tornado zone.
"It's not just the emergency or the temporary housing that is available it's also disaster unemployment insurance," Eide said. "So a lot of those people that were employees of the businesses that were impacted, they would be eligible for disaster unemployment because they are unemployed as an impact of the disaster."