Support Needed for Randall-Area
LITTLE FALLS, MN—Nearly $100,000 has been raised to support residents affected by a June 23-24 storm that dropped up to 12.3 inches of rain on the Randall area, causing widespread flooding. Continued support is needed, however, in what will be a months-long recovery effort.
An estimated 40 homes and several businesses were inundated with floodwaters when the late June deluge—deemed a 500-year rain event by the National Weather Service—caused the Little Elk River to overflow its banks and overrun the Morrison County community. A 500-year rain event means it has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring based on historical records.
“The financial need in Randall is really high for these folks to get their lives back on track,” said Matt Pantzke, Randall city administrator, who shared that many homeowners were without flood insurance or unable to secure it. “We have many homes with significant structural and personal property damage, along with a lot of heating devices and appliances—furnaces, water heaters, washers, dryers.”
The Initiative Foundation is partnering with Randall-area community leaders to drive relief and recovery efforts. Fundraising is approaching $100,000 through individual online donations, local fundraising events and grants from Compeer Financial (for affected businesses) and The Funders Network and its Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership program.
Much more is needed to make a meaningful difference.
Appraisers from the state of Minnesota and the Small Business Administration are conducting damage assessments and expect to have an estimated financial figure the week of July 11. According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency cost estimate, a 1,000-square-foot home flooded with 12 inches of standing water will require nearly $30,000 to repair, restore and to replace damaged property. That number jumps to more than $70,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home. With 40 homes affected, plus several business, the costs could easily and conservatively exceed $2 million.
The urgency to act is now, said Don Hickman, Initiative Foundation vice president for community and workforce development. “A lot of natural disasters in rural areas remain in the headlines for a very brief time,” Hickman said. “But the road to recovery is a long one. People are likely to discover needs long after the immediate disaster response has ended. We’re committed to partnering with the city and surrounding townships as they continue to rebuild and address unmet needs over the coming many months.”
Cleanup crews organized by Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster will be onsite in the Randall area on Saturday to help muck out homes. The effort will include mold scraping and sanitization, including heating and cooling systems, plus dry-out operations to make homes livable again.
Despite the losses many have experienced, Pantzke said spirits in the Randall area remain high. “The community has come together. We see a lot of neighbors helping neighbors, a lot of family members traveling home to help Mom and Dad or friends and family they have in town.” It hasn’t been easy, he said, but “people are dealing with it and look forward to rebuilding and getting back to normal.”