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Pawlenty sets Monday for flood-relief special session

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Flood damage
Minnesota Department of Transportation crews remove temporary levees, Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, near a 140-foot section of northbound Highway 169 near St. Peter, Minn. that was collapsed by the flooding Minnesota River last week. The major highway remains closed north of St. Peter as MnDOT works on an emergency contract to establish two-way traffic in the southbound lane and repair the washed-out roadway.
AP Photo/Mankato Free Press, John Cross

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has tentatively scheduled a special legislative session for next Monday to ensure that state funding is available to help southern Minnesota residents clean up from last month's flooding.

Pawlenty is tentatively scheduling the date because the federal government hasn't declared the damage a disaster area yet. If President Barack Obama makes the declaration after Friday, Pawlenty's office said the special session could be held later. 

The governor's office says a preliminary damage estimate from the September 22 flooding is $64.1 million. If a disaster declaration is made, the federal government will pick up 75 percent of the cost. Pawlenty and legislative leaders have pledged that the state will pick up the rest of the tab.