On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton signed an emergency executive order to declare a peacetime emergency in the state of Minnesota due to the infrastructure damage caused by severe storms.
Between June 20-26, severe storms and flash floods swept across a large section of the state, leaving significant amounts of tree debris behind and damaging large swaths of utility infrastructure systems.
More than 600,000 homes and businesses were left without power, and the clean-up costs alone are estimated to top $7 million.
On June 20, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety activated its Emergency Operations Plan to provide support and help to affected areas. Officials continue to assess the damage as they work to determine the need for disaster aid.
Dayton's declaration ensures state and appropriate federal agencies will continue to provide assistance to local governments in the following affected counties, which include:
- Big Stone
- Mille Lacs
The declaration is the first step toward getting federal disaster assistance.
Downed trees can still be seen on many metro roads, and the mess on the Mississippi River is expected to stick around through the holiday weekend. Crews had hoped to clear a logjam near Raspberry Island in downtown St. Paul, but high water levels have kept them at bay. City officials plan to begin clean-up operations on Friday.