Obama signs disaster declaration

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, July 25, 2013

President Barack Obama declared Freeborn County and 17 other Minnesota counties as major disaster areas Thursday after severe storms and flash flooding at the end of June.

The declaration opens the door for federal aid that will be available to eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations. It will cover emergency work and repair to facilities damaged during the June 20-26 storms.

Though the storms flooded numerous homes, the declaration does not include individual assistance.

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Other counties included in the declaration were Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Morrison, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin.

Locally, the aid will cover damage to county and township roads and drainage ditches, along with the costs of emergency response to barricade off roads and pump water, among others.

Freeborn County Emergency Management Director Rich Hall said applicants will submit briefings throughout the state the week of Aug. 5.