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Flood damage assessment begins today, Renville County included

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL -- Local, state and federal officials are beginning their assessment of June flood damages across Minnesota.

The process begins with heavily hit southwestern Minnesota's Rock, Jackson, Nobles and Renville counties Tuesday and Wednesday. State Public Safety Department officials say other counties will be toured once floodwaters recede.

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The state issued an emergency declaration for 35 counties, but Emergency Services Director Kris Eide said more counties likely will be added. Nearly 50 of the state's 87 counties have reported flood damage.

The preliminary damage assessment is needed to gather information before Gov. Mark Dayton can officially request federal assistance. He and other officials talked to President Barack Obama when he was in the Twin Cities last week, and the president promised to help.

Federal aid only is available if damage to public infrastructure such as roads and bridges exceeds $7.3 million, which Dayton said he expects.

Federal funds would pay for 75 percent of public damage, with the state picking up most of the rest. If the state's portion exceeds $3 million, the Legislature may need to return to St. Paul for a special session.

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