The U.S. government has approved Minnesota's request for federal disaster assistance money to help clean up and fix public property and facilities damaged in the May 22 tornado, a state agency announced Tuesday.
The approval came in the form of a federal disaster declaration for Hennepin and Anoka counties, as requested by Gov. Mark Dayton, according the state Department of Public Safety.
While the declaration means federal help with public costs, Dayton's request for federal assistance for individuals with tornado-related expenses is still under review, the department said in a news release.
The disaster declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for 75 percent of the cost of removing debris, providing emergency services and repairing or replacing roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation facilities.
A preliminary estimate of such public costs was $16.3 million.
"With this declaration, these communities can begin receiving important assistance that will help them rebuild and return stronger than ever," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement.