Gov. Tim Walz has approved use of funds from the state’s Disaster Assistance Contingency Account to help Winona and Houston counties, along with seven other southern Minnesota counties, with damage caused by severe storms that hit the area July 16-20.

Damage assessments completed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management revealed about $461,000 for Houston County and about $656,000 for Winona County in public property and infrastructure damages.

A large amount of this funding will be put toward fixing roadways and bridges.

The total assessment for all nine counties totaled more than $2 million.

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The state is set to take on 75% of the costs, while local counties will pay the rest.

“This has been a tough year for many Minnesotans who are working to rebuild and recover after significant storm damage,” Walz said.

“Our neighbors in southern Minnesota were hit particularly hard by a series of severe storms that crushed public infrastructure and slowed local economies. That’s why we’re authorizing funds from our state’s disaster assistance account to offset the burden for Minnesotans while they work to make their communities whole again.”

Other counties included in this authorization are: Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Le Sueur and Wabasha.

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