Governor Dayton signs presidential declaration request

WORTHINGTON – Governor Mark Dayton Friday signed a letter addressed to President Barack Obama requesting federal aid for a five county region in southwest Minnesota following ice and snow storms that knocked out electricity and caused devastating chaos, along with millions of dollars in damage earlier this month.

The letter, part of a request for a presidential disaster declaration for funds through FEMA and Homeland Security, stated Dayton issued an Emergency Executive Order April 10, triggering activation of the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan. As the storm continued and worsened, Dayton declared a state of emergency in several counties and cities.

Preliminary damage assessments showed an estimated 252,000 cubic yards of debris due to ice formation on trees and electric lines. More than 3,000 electric utility poles snapped and 170 miles of power lines were deemed unsalvageable.

Emergency protective measures for Jackson County are estimated at $66.96 per capita. In Murray County, $199.11 per capita for utility restoration has been estimated. The estimated cost in Nobles County for debris removal alone is approximately $100.79 per capita.

The people of Minnesota are resilient and typically only reluctantly ask for help, Dayton wrote. On their behalf, he respectfully requested approval of the declaration.

Now that the request has been made by the governor, the paperwork will move to a FEMA office for verification before being sent to the White House for Obama’s approval.

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