Storm-battered Brainerd Lakes area will get state disaster aid

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Three counties in the Brainerd area will get disaster relief assistance from the state to help with storm damage suffered last month.

Cass, Crow Wing and Todd counties were hit with strong winds – some hitting 100 mph – and severe storms July 12-13, toppling trees and knocking out power for thousands of residents.

The end result? About $1.3 million in eligible damage, tallied by the state's Department of Public Safety Homeland Security Emergency Management, according to a news release announcing the state aid.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton approved those counties' request for financial help from the state disaster assistance program, the news release says.

The state will give up to 75 percent of the total eligible damage costs in each county; then the county is responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

According to the news release, most of the costs from last month's storms went to "emergency protective measures" and "debris removal."

It's the second round of disaster assistance approved this month.

A couple weeks ago, Dayton signed off on aid for Martin County, which suffered nearly $45,000 in damages from a June 22 storm, according to a news release. Most of that came from damage to publicly owned utilities and debris removal.

In 2014, Dayton signed legislation that established the first state disaster contingency account, which provides assistance to counties that don’t meet the federal threshold during a major disaster declaration.

Prior to this month, three counties – Morrison, Dakota and Washington – had qualified to receive assistance from the state since the program's inception.

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