State asks FEMA to assess storm damage in SW Minn.

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The state Department of Public Safety have asked FEMA officials to assess damage caused by last week's storm in several southwestern Minnesota counties, WCCO reports.

Nearly an inch of ice coated the city of Worthington and surrounding communities a week ago, toppling trees and utility poles and eventually knocking out power to thousands.

The preliminary assessments in Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties would determine if they qualify for the Public Assistance Program, which aides local governments and nonprofits.

If FEMA finds that damage exceeds $7.266 million, Gov. Mark Dayton can make a request for a presidential declaration of disaster.

Another winter-like storm is on the heels of cleanup efforts in the area, where utility crews are still in the process of restoring power.

Nobles Cooperative Electric said Wednesday afternoon that only 258 customers were still without power. If the winter-like weather holds off, utility crews may be able to get that number down to less than 100 this evening.

The National Weather Service in South Dakota says another bout of rain, sleet, snow and freezing rain is expected in the region beginning Wednesday evening and wrapping up Friday afternoon.

Insurance agents have been out in full force this week, assessing damage to homes from ice-laden trees and branches, the Worthington Daily Globe reports.

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