Worthington mayor happy to receive federal funds to help storm - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Worthington mayor happy to receive federal funds to help storm cleanup

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President Obama has cleared the way for federal aid following that major ice storm.

He declared these five southwestern Minnesota counties a major federal disaster.

They are Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties.

KSFY News visited the community of Worthington just days after the storm hit.

Many of us may try to save a little money for a rainy day, but the ice storm could break the proverbial piggy bank for some small cities and towns.

We spoke with Worthington mayor Alan Oberloh and he couldn't be happier with the disaster declaration.

That ice storm swept through wrecking havoc on trees, power lines, neighborhoods and streets.

The clean-up began right away, but it was costly.

In fact, Worthington mayor Alan Oberloh tells us the storm caused more than one million dollars in damage to trees alone.

So now, with the president's disaster declaration, local governments can get some federal funds to help pay the bills.

"We don't have reserves in the budget that would allow us to cover a disaster of this nature. If it were a $100,000 worth of tree removal I suppose we could do it within the budget. We'd figure out a way to do it, but when it gets over a million dollars it's just not feasible. And the burden without this federal declaration, I don't know how we would get through it. It would cause a lot of hardship," Oberloh said.

And Oberloh told us one way or another that huge mess would have to be cleaned up.

If they had to do it on their own, he believes it could take months.

But with the federal assistance, he's confident it could be done in a month.

FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of approved costs.

It's estimated the storm damage to Minnesota counties could top more than 26 million dollars.

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