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Officials want disaster declaration

Published 9:12am Monday, May 30, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison are asking President Barack Obama to quickly issue a disaster declaration for parts of the Twin Cities area hit by a tornado last weekend.

The trio sent the president a letter on Sunday asking for an expedited presidential disaster declaration for Hennepin and Anoka counties.

A federal preliminary damage assessment found the storm caused over $16 million in damage to public infrastructure, as well as widespread damage to homes and businesses in the area.

The declaration would permit the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement state and local relief efforts.

The tornado produced winds up to 110 miles per hour and left a trail of damage more than 14 miles long and up to one-half mile wide. The tornado killed one person, and another person died in its aftermath. Dozens were injured and hundreds have been displaced.

If Obama declares a major disaster and public assistance is approved, FEMA will fund 75 percents of costs, possibly covering debris removal, emergency services and repair of public facilities.

Twins fans donate nearly $3,100 to tornado relief

Red kettles and ringing bells usually mean it’s the holiday season, but around Target Field they signify tornado relief.

A youth volunteer group calls “Kids to the Rescue” staffed the kettles at Friday’s Minnesota Twins game.

The Salvation Army said the red kettles raised nearly $3,100. It said the money will go toward helping victims of last week’s tornado in North Minneapolis.