President declares ‘major disaster’ in seven MN counties

WASHINGTON — President Obama today declared a major disaster exists in seven Minnesota counties, freeing up federal funds to help in the recovery from storms and tornadoes that whipped through in mid-June.

The seven counties in question: Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena, which saw the storms pass through on June 17. Money will also be allocated to respond to flooding caused by the storms.

State estimates place the amount of possible aid at $35 million.

The declaration had been formally requested by a host of Minnesota lawmakers, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Reps. Jim Oberstar, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz.

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