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THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Providence, Rhode Island)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                      July 28, 2000

PRESIDENT CLINTON DECLARES MAJOR DISASTER EXISTS IN MINNESOTA

The President today amended the major disaster declaration issued for Minnesota on June 27 to include assistance for families and local governments victimized by the deadly tornado that struck the town of Granite Falls in Yellow Medicine County on July 25.

The President's action extends the declaration's eligible incident period from May 17 to July 26 to include damage sustained as a result of the tornado. The initial declaration covered damage from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of May 17 to July 12.

Under the amended declaration, stricken individuals and families in Yellow Medicine County are eligible to apply for federal assistance that can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Federal funding also will be provided for affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the tornado, and restoring damaged public property.

In a separate action, the declaration was amended to add the counties of Clearwater and Roseau for assistance to local governments for damage to public property resulting from the previous severe storms and flooding.

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