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Beltrami County, area tribes included in disaster declaration after summer storms

A row of downed trees from the Fourth of July storm in Bemidji. (Pioneer file photo)

WASHINGTON -- Beltrami County and the tribal governments of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation, were included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration because of summer storms.

The declaration will free up federal recovery and mitigation assistance for the counties and the tribes located primarily in southwest, northwest and northeast Minnesota areas of the state. In all, 27 counties were in the declaration.

The public assistance will reimburse at least 75 percent of costs to repair public infrastructure like roads and water systems because of the storms in June and July, officials said in a release. On July 4, a tornado touched down in the city of Bemidji and the area saw several other thunderstorms move through in a span of weeks.

“This relief is greatly needed in communities all across Minnesota,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., in a release. “I saw firsthand the damage caused by heavy rains and flash floods across the state earlier this summer. Today’s disaster declaration will help communities repair the damage to roads, bridges, and critical infrastructure.”

Along with the three tribes and Beltrami County, the declaration covers the following counties: Aitkin, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Faribault, Itasca, Jackson, Koochiching, Lake, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Redwood, Renville, Rock, St. Louis, Sibley and Watonwan.