(St. Paul, MN) – State and federal officials will survey and assess damages next week to counties hit hard by severe weather in March and April.

Preliminary damage assessments were done in 24 counties and one tribal nation this week already, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).  The agency teamed with FEMA and local emergency managers in each county for the assessments and will begin a second assessment next week.

Faribault, Freeborn, Blue Earth, Mower, Waseca, Steele, Watonwan, and Nicollet counties will all be assessed again for damages next week.

The total of eligible damages will be released once the assessment is complete and Governor Walz requests a major disaster declaration.

In March, the Watonwan River ice jammed, flooding homes in Garden City and leaving the Blue Earth County Fairgrounds in disarray.  In April, Southern Minnesota was rocked by an April snowstorm with 50 mph winds that downed powerlines, leaving thousands without electricity for days.

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