Dayton calls aid denial 'cruel and wrong'

Gov. Mark Dayton is criticizing a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny federal assistance to northeastern Minnesotans whose homes were damaged in the summer flooding.

Dayton says he will appeal the decision next week in the hope that the agency reverses its decision.

He told reporters Thursday morning that he was deeply disappointed in the decision.

"I can't imagine how anybody can go up and look at the devastation up in Duluth and the surrounding area," he said, "and not realize how many people didn't have flood insurance because this has not happened before and lost everything, and to tell them that this is not a disaster justifying the federal government's involvement, to me, is just really cruel and wrong."

Dayton says he wants to look into whether there was any disagreement between FEMA officials on the disaster aid. He didn't rule out making a personal appeal to President Barack Obama.

FEMA has granted federal money to the affected communities for public infrastructure like roads and bridge repair. The goveror plans to call a special session in late August to appropriate the money.

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