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Nobles County board declares state of emergency after Monday's storms

Nobles County had already declared a state of emergency on May 16, following the storms of May 11, but as this was a new storm system, a separate declaration had to be made.

Thompson Ave. S in Rushmore Minnesota blocked off due to severe thunderstorms damage to roofs, trees and power lines in the early hours of Monday morning.
Thompson Ave. S in Rushmore Minnesota blocked off due to severe thunderstorms damage to roofs, trees and power lines in the early hours of Monday morning.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Wednesday during a special meeting due to the severe weather event that began Monday.

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"As you are all aware, a violent system rolled through our community in the early hours on Monday, May 30, with Rushmore sustaining the brunt impact," wrote Tawn Hall, Nobles County emergency manager.

In the immediate period after the storm, it wasn't clear how bad the damage was county-wide, or if there would be enough cost from damage to public infrastructure to declare a state of emergency, she explained. Because eligible damages are calculated after insurance coverage, the city of Rushmore had to first determine what its insurance covered and what it did not.

"After speaking with our two Cooperative Energy groups, (the) County Public Works Department and the city of Rushmore, it was determined we would indeed meet and exceed the minimum state threshold of $45,694.50," Hall added.

Nobles County had already declared a state of emergency on May 16, following the storms of May 11, but as this was a new storm system, a separate declaration had to be made in order to be eligible for emergency disaster funding at the state or federal levels. It also allows the county to bring in services for protective emergency measures and recovery without going through a bid process for smaller-scale projects costing less than $139,800, Hall stated.

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Farms, communities from Ellsworth to St. Killian see damage in Nobles County.

"Waiting to declare could have resulted in our communities becoming ineligible to receive emergency recovery funding," Hall wrote.

Including damage to both electric companies, the Public Works Department and uninsured damage suffered by the city of Rushmore, Nobles County sustained $140,000 or more in uninsured damages, Hall said, right on the heels of the $550,000 in damage caused by the May 11 storm system.

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