A survey to assess the needs of northeast Minnesota residents affected by the floods of 2012 is being launched this week. The survey asks residents about both the physical rebuilding of their homes and the stress and financial issues that may have arisen because of the flooding.
"We're generally doing well on the physical rebuilding of homes, but there's still work to be done and there's been a huge cost to individuals in stress and added debt," said Drew Digby, the Special Projects and Long Term Recovery manager for Carlton County.
A rough estimate is residents across the region had to take on about $20 million of additional debt to pay for repairs to their homes and property, and while some of that debt can be forgiven through state programs, most of it has to be repaid. More than 1,900 homes across the region were damaged by the June 2012 flood.
Residents can take the survey online by going to FloodSurvey.CarltonCounty.com or by calling the Flood Line at (218) 499-6181 or 1-888-485-8520.
Carlton County has received a grant from the state of Minnesota to assess the long-term recovery and resiliency needs of residents affected by the flood. This grant, for residents of Carlton, Aitkin, Pine and St. Louis counties, was provided by the State of Minnesota-Minnesota Recovers Task Force through the Minnesota Department of Health. Carlton County operates the Northland Regional Flood Recovery program for Hope, Healing and Wellness, which includes funding to provide behavioral health services to those affected by the floods.
Normally, a natural disaster like the one that hit northeast Minnesota takes from three to five years for most of the damage to be repaired. At this point, just shy of two years, work is being done to find out what the greatest needs of the residents are and what might be done to continue to help. The needs might be from stress, added debt, change of life plans, or family issues as well as unrepaired homes or yards. Filling out this survey will help coordinate and bring in services that might be able to help residents move forward with their lives.
While some of the services and programs available after the flood have now ended, there are agencies still working to provide help and others who can direct residents to existing programs, such as housing rehabilitation loans, that might be useful.
In addition, a few individuals or families who would like to tell their stories about the damage they received in the flood and their path to recovery are being sought. Residents interested in sharing can answer the question at the end of the survey or call (218) 499-6181 or 1-888-485-8520.