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FEMA, state estimates $17.8 million in public damage from June storms

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State and federal officials documented more than $17.8 million in damages to public property across 18 counties from last month's storms, according to a letter from Gov. Mark Dayton to Pres. Barack Obama requesting federal aid.

Severe weather creating powerful straight-line winds and flash flooding uprooted trees, washed out bridges and caused power outages throughout western, central and southern Minnesota from June 20 through June 26.

"Parts of the state saw 48-hour rainfall amounts that have a statistical frequency of about once every 500 years," the letter stated.

At its peak, at least 600,000 homes and businesses were without power, the largest outage on record in Minnesota.

Hennepin County reported losing more trees in the June storms than in a 2011 tornado. The cost estimate for the overwhelming amount of vegetative debris topped $3 million, according to the letter.

Flooding in Houston County damaged nearly 50 bridges. In neighboring Fillmore County, rapidly-moving water damaged the main park in the city of Mabel, knocking an equipment building off its foundation and washing away fences and picnic tables.

Approximately 61 miles of drainage systems were damaged in Freeborn County.

At the University of Minnesota, Morris, 77 mph winds caused extensive damage to cattle equipment, barns, a skyway, fences and other campus buildings.

In the letter, Dayton says eligible damages to uninsured public facilities and infrastructure is almost two-and-a-half times Minnesota's threshold of $7.26 million required for federal aid.

If approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would fund 75 percent of approved costs, MPR reports. State and local governments would be responsible for the rest.

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