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Obama declares major disaster in Minnesota following March floods

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared several counties in western Minnesota a major disaster area after flooding earlier this spring, freeing up federal dollars for the relief effort.

The declaration covers the following counties and tribal areas: Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Clay, Kittson, Lac Qui Parle, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Scott, Sibley, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine Counties and the Tribal Nation of the Upper Sioux Community.

The move follows a March 19 emergency declaration, though the major disaster footprint is substantially smaller than the emergency footprint was, as flooding was less than anticipated in many areas.

“We’re grateful this spring’s flooding was largely contained,” Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in a statement. “But the extremely high waters still caused some damage, particularly in Red River Valley. Once again, the spirit and resolve of Minnesotans battling the floodwaters was incredible.”

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