Emergency order includes Sibley, Renville counties

ST. PAUL – Sibley, Renville, McLeod and 23 other Minnesota counties were named in a state of peacetime emergency declaration Wednesday by Gov. Mark Dayton.

The counties of Aitkin, Benton, Big Stone, Carver, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin, Winona and Wright counties were also named in Emergency Executive Order 13-09.

The order followed severe storms and flash flooding from Thursday, June 20 through Wednesday, June 26, affecting a large part of the state with significant debris issues and extensive damage to public infrastructure and utilities, according to the order.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, activated by the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan on June 20, will continue support and assistance to affected local governments, and is assessing and determining the need for supplementary disaster aid, according to the order.

University of Minnesota Extension Service, Nicollet County Agent Christian Lillienthal said the western part of Nicollet County would have qualified on its own for a 30 percent crop reduction from the storm.

“Some parts of the county that were hailed out last year had some of the biggest (flood) losses again this year,” Lillienthal said. “We went out and scoped out the damage, but the county as a whole didn’t have a 30 percent loss…I think most farmers would rather have the grain anyway. That’s always better than payments.”

Bruce Potter of the University of Minnesota Southwest Research & Outreach Center at Lamberton said farm fields were hailed out between Sanborn and Springfield and in the Wabasso, Comfrey and Mountain Lake areas but the damage was not enough to cause entire counties to be named in the state emergency declaration.

“Given the late date of the storm, it makes replanting difficult,” Potter said.

High winds and hail as large as golf balls were reported to have destroyed or heavily damaged corn and soybean fields, building roofs and even stripped leaves and bark off trees and dented vehicles in parts of western Brown and Redwood counties on June 18.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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