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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                    August 26, 1999

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Minnesota and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe ice storms, flooding, and heavy rains beginning on March 1, 1999, and continuing through May 30, 1999.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected local governments in a six county area. The counties include Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau.

Federal funding is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe ice storms, flooding, and heavy rains. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named William Powers of FEMA's regional office in Chicago, Illinois to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional areas may be added after the assessments are completed.