The federal government has approved a request by Minnesota for an official disaster declaration following flooding across southern Minnesota last month.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will make recovery funding available to the state, local governments and some non-profit agencies to help recover from the high water.
Record rains started flooding on Sept. 22, and caused widespread damage across south central and south eastern Minnesota. Preliminary estimates by state and federal experts put the losses at over $60 million, most of that to public infrastructure like roads and bridges.
The declaration will likely also trigger a special session of the Minnesota Legislature. Lawmakers and the governor met this week to negotiate terms of a relief package. The state is obliged to match a third of the recovery finding offered by the federal government.
The counties include Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan and Winona. (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)