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Dayton declares flood emergency

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ST. PAUL -- Streams are rising across Minnesota, so Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday signed an executive order declaring flood emergencies in 46 counties and two American Indian tribes, which allows the state to provide local governments with a variety of help.

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Areas around the Crow, Minnesota and Mississippi rivers face a second flood crest in coming days, and many places in northwestern Minnesota are bracing for initial crests of the Red River and other streams in the area this weekend or early next week.

The state Emergency Operations Center already is open, but Dayton's action allows the state to provide more help.

Dayton's office reports that all state agencies are directed to continue to provide the assistance necessary to help local governments respond to and recover from flooding.

Adjutant General Richard Nash, head of the state National Guard, now has authority to order to active duty personnel, with needed equipment, to flight floods or provide relief.

Nash also may buy or lease goods needed to provide the aid.

Also available are employees and equipment from many state agencies, including the Department of Transportation.

Counties in the emergency order are Aitkin, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Clay, Cottonwood, Dakota, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Jackson, Kittson, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lyon, Marshall, McLeod, Morrison, Nicollet, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Ramsey, Redwood, Red Lake, Renville, Scott, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Washington, Wilkin, Winona, Wright and Yellow Medicine. Also included are the Upper Sioux Agency and Prairie island Indian Community.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

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