Governor Mark Dayton has declared a state of emergency in 26
Minnesota counties hit by storms, flash floods and massive power
outages last month.
The June storms downed power lines, toppled trees, sucked chunks
of roadway down sinkholes and pushed rivers over their banks across
the state. More than half a million customers lost power around the
Twin Cities in the immediate aftermath of the storms, and communities
and homeowners are still digging out from the mess.
Wednesday’s executive order declares a state of peacetime
emergency in Aitkin, Benton, Big Stone, Carver, Douglas, Faribault,
Fillmore, Freeborn, Hennepin, Houston, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker,
Mille Lacs, Pine, Pope, Renville, Ramsey, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens,
Swift, Traverse, Wilkin, Winona, and Wright counties.
The declaration is part of the process that will allow the state
to call for federal disaster assistance in the areas hit hardest by
Minnesota officials have already asked the Federal Emergency
Management Agency to conduct damage assessments in the affected
counties. The federal government will not step in until the cost of
cleanup from a disaster tops $7.26 million, but state officials expect
Minnesota’s cleanup costs to exceed that figure.