Disaster request from Minn. storms sent to Obama

Published 11:33 am Friday, June 25, 2010

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s request for federal financial help in the aftermath of last week’s damaging storms is on its way.

Pawlenty wrote President Barack Obama on Friday to seek a major disaster declaration for Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena counties. Tornadoes ripped through the areas eight days ago, causing three deaths, many injuries and severe damage.

In his 11-page request, Pawlenty describes damage to private property, agriculture and public infrastructure. The Republican governor says the incident “is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments.”

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A disaster declaration would free up federal recovery assistance, small-business loans and other aid to the affected communities.