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Minnesota's disaster declaration extended

ST. PAUL — Sunshine improved many water-logged Minnesotans’ spirits Monday, but a flood fight may continue all summer for some.

With damage reports flowing in, state elected officials Monday extended for 30 days a disaster declaration Gov. Mark Dayton signed last week. While it lists 35 counties as part of the storm disaster, the state’s emergency services manager said that by Monday 46 of the state’s 87 counties had reported flood and other storm damage.

“We are going to be wherever we are needed,” Dayton promised after the state Executive Council unanimously approved the disaster declaration during a minutes-long meeting.

The action gives state agencies such as the National Guard authority to help deal with floods.

Dayton said that in his decades of public service, this is the most extensive disaster he has seen. “The scale of it is overwhelming.”

Flooding has occurred from the Canadian border to the Iowa and South Dakota state lines, with some areas also experiencing mud slides. Crops and other property also have been affected by hail and wind.

President Barack Obama plans to be in the Twin Cities on Thursday, and Dayton said he would like to talk to him about the disaster. However, the governor added, he does not know whether the two — who were U.S. Senate colleagues for a time — will meet.

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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