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Governor requests disaster declaration

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is asking President Obama to designate 20 Minnesota counties as disaster areas due to spring flooding.

In an April 20 letter, Dayton requested Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Clay, Grant, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lyon, McLeod, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Scott, Sibley, Stevens, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine counties be included in the disaster declaration.

Preliminary assessments revealed $10.86 million in costs and damages. Assessments continue in 15 additional counties. If eligible, those counties can be added to the request at a later date.

Dayton requested aid for local government and nonprofits and hazard mitigation help to prevent or reduce long-term risks.

If Obama declares a major disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will fund 75 percent of the approved costs. Montevideo had made a preliminary estimate of $200,000 to $250,000 in damage and costs to public properties due to flooding.

Eligible work might include debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.

Dayton will recommend to the Legislature that the state fully fund the remaining 25 percent share. This request is designed to relieve the burden to communities like Moorhead, Granite Falls and many others who have had as many as four disasters in the past year, the governor's office stated.

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