Carlton County officials shift to recovery modeWhile there is no official estimate yet for the flood damage done to the estimated 775 homes, myriad roads and all kinds of infrastructure across Carlton County, engineers, state officials and the Carlton County Assessor’s Office began working this week to scope out damage now that flood waters have begun to recede.
By: Brittany Berens , Pine Journal
While there is no official estimate yet for the flood damage done to the estimated 775 homes, myriad roads and all kinds of infrastructure across Carlton County, engineers, state officials and the Carlton County Assessor’s Office began working this week to scope out damage now that flood waters have begun to recede.
Carlton County Assessor Marci Moreland said appraisers (including numerous volunteers from other counties around the state) began going door-to-door throughout the county to do damage assessments of households on Monday, starting in Moose Lake. Residents are asked to cooperate with the appraisers, including about 30 to 40 volunteers from throughout Minnesota, who will do a five- to 10-minute assessment of damage. Any photographs residents took of damage to their homes prior to starting cleanup should be submitted to the appraisers.
The assessments will be used to calculate 2012 and 2013 property tax relief for residents. Though relief may not cover all expenses homeowners have, “it is something,” Moreland said. Data collected this week will also be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine how much, if any, federal funds will be allocated to Carlton County residents to help pay for flood damaged property.
Residents who have already begun to clean up their property and have taken digital photos of damage are asked to submit their property damage information via the Carlton County website at www.co.carlton.mn.us. Photos of flood damage to homes or businesses may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moreland said that even with a small army of volunteers, it will take time for appraisers to work their way through the county. The Carlton County Assessor asked residents living in outlying townships with damage to their property to call 218-384-9142, 9144 or 9145 so appraisers can map out damaged areas and determine what areas need to be assessed at what times.
Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said deputies are switching into cleanup and recovery mode, which includes keeping “gawkers” away from unsafe areas. Lake said a deputy will be stationed at Highway 210 road blocks near Jay Cooke State Park to keep people from wandering into unsafe areas. She said more than 200 people who were interested in getting a glimpse of the damage near the entrance of the park were turned away Sunday alone.
While Lake recognized that road blocks may be an inconvenience for some homeowners, “the last thing [residents] need to deal with … is all the people that want to come in and take pictures and look to see what’s going on.”
Information will change quickly throughout the week as flood relief efforts continue. Carlton County officials offered up a few key phone numbers for residents with questions, volunteer requests, flood damage reports, and general updates.
+ Carlton County Emergency Operation Center (critical needs) – 218-384-9509; hours of operation 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. (after hours call 911)
+ Carlton County Flood Relief Center (basic needs) – 218-384-1112; hours of operation 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Cloquet Armory, 801 Highway 33, Cloquet
+ Carlton County Assessor, Damage Assessments, Kyle or Marcie – 218-384-9142 or 384-9144
+ American Red Cross, relief needs – 218-722-1800
+ Salvation Army, basic needs – 218-879-1693