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More counties eligible for disaster aid

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Alexandria, 56308
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ST. PAUL -- Federal authorities have added eight Minnesota counties to those eligible for disaster assistance following last month's floods.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced that Brown, Carver, Le Sueur, Nicollet, Nobles, Redwood, Sibley and Yellow Medicine counties were added to the federal disaster declaration when $1.9 million in damages were estimated.

Earlier, 21 counties were given the federal disaster declaration, providing them with assistance to clean up and make repairs on public facilities after extensive flooding that followed rain of up to a foot in places. Federal aid also is available to prevent future floods, but grants to individual homeowners were not approved.

For what the federal government covers, it pays 75 percent of costs. A special legislative session on Monday approved state money to pay the remaining 25 percent.

Earlier, the federal government approved a disaster declaration for Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan and Winona counties. Those counties, and now the newly added eight counties, will take most of the $80 million state recovery package passed Monday.

A June 17 tornado outbreak led to a disaster declaration in Blue Earth, Brown, Houston, Kittson, Nicollet, Sibley, Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena counties. They share $6.6 million of the state funds.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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