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State of emergency declared in seven Minnesota counties for tornado and storm damage


Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared a state of emergency in seven Minnesota counties following Thursday’s tornadoes and severe storms around the state.

The affected counties are: Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena.

Three people died and dozens were injured when up to 40 tornadoes touched down; weather officials continue to work to verify the exact number.

The declaration means the Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will continue to provide “on-site support and assistance to the affected local governments and determine the need for supplementary emergency assistance. All state agencies, in cooperation with appropriate federal agencies, are directed to provide the assistance necessary to help local units of government respond to and recover from this emergency.”