As farmers, communities and homeowners continue to assess the damage caused by the severe thunderstorm that struck May 12, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz came to western Minnesota to assess the extent of the emergency response.
He met with county and city officials representing Stevens, Swift, Lac qui Parle and Big Stone counties in Benson last Wednesday afternoon to hear their stories of the challenges they faced and the help they would need to recover. Among those attending the meeting was Dona Greiner, emergency manager for Stevens and Big Stone counties.
Also with the governor at last week’s meeting was Commissioner of Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Joe Kelly and Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Peterson. “These are the true professionals,” Gov. Walz said of the county emergency management people meeting at the Benson Golf Club. “We understand that Minnesota does this as well as anyone. They know what they are doing. They know how to do it from the triage immediately afterwards to these assessments in an effort to make folks as whole as possible.”
Walz told the group that he and his staff wanted to hear firsthand what the impact of the storm was on the area. They also wanted to see if there were ways they could coordinate state and federal governments to help the local efforts.