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Obama signs disaster declaration for June thunderstorms

WASHINGTON — President Obama has issued a disaster declaration for several Minnesota counties hit by strong thunderstorms in June. 

From the White House:

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Minnesota and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of June 20-26, 2013. 

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, and Wilkin.

The June storm system brought days of heavy rain and high winds, and at one point left 600,000 Minnesota homes or businesses without power (the damage in Minneapolis alone was well-documented). Gov. Mark Dayton requested federal aid on July 17, and estimated the total damage at $17.8 million. 

Minnesota’s last federal disaster declaration came in May, following winter storms in southern Minnesota.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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