Pres. Obama approves disaster relief for MN counties hit by ice storm

7:40 AM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Minnesota that will provide federal funds for recovery and cleanup after a spring ice storm paralyzed the southwest part of the state.

Gov. Mark Dayton sent Pres. Obama a letter April 26, requesting federal aid to help the area recover from the storm that hit April 9-11. Gov. Dayton's letter estimated damage to infrastructure at over $26 million in five southwestern Minnesota counties: Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock.

The Dayton administration says the President's declaration comes after preliminary damage assessments done by FEMA, Homeland Security and Emergency Management and local officials. The funding will be available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in the five counties.

Ice buildup on trees, towers and power lines caused about 3,000 utility poles to snap and destroyed 170 miles of power lines.

Dayton says the Minnesota Legislature could OK state aid before its May 20 adjournment.

FEMA says additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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