More flood relief money could be on the way - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

More flood relief money could be on the way

ROCHESTER, Minn (KTTC)-- More help may finally be on the way for victims of last September's floods who are currently stuck in a state of limbo.

Governor Dayton has signed a bill that would require the state to use leftover flood money to help communities with buyouts of individual homes. The move could be a big help for Zumbro Falls, where the city needs to come up with $65,000 to match buyout requirements so homeowners stuck with uninhabitable houses can be bought out.

"It's not easy for anybody, it's a rough situation and anyone that tells you different, I'd call them a liar," says Bob Sommerfield who lost his home during last year's record flooding.

Most of Bob's neighbors still haven't returned to hard-hit Zumbro Falls and most of them probably won't. But at least 26 of them are still waiting for the buyout process to begin.

"It's kind of an up in the air situation because nobody knows exactly what's going on yet," Bob adds.

Wabasha County Emergency Management Director Brenda Wodele knows finding money to meet buyout requirements is not easy.

"Flooding is just one of those disasters that takes a long time to cleanup and recover from," Wodele said Monday afternoon.

"It's been really difficult for the smaller communities and county to come up with that amount," she adds.

The money that would come from this bill still wouldn't be enough to cover all of the estimated 56 properties that need to be bought out. However, the DNR and Housing Finance Agency are also working on securing more cash for the move.

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