WASHINGTON D.C. (KMHL) – Governor Tim Walz says the White House has approved a major disaster declaration that will make federal funds available to 51 counties and 4 tribal governments in Minnesota.

The disaster declaration is in response to widespread flooding, destructive blizzards and gale-force winds earlier this spring. That weather is estimated to have caused $40 million in damage to public infrastructure.

“The news of incoming federal disaster relief is welcome after an exceptionally difficult transition from winter to spring this past year,” said Gov. Walz. “Minnesota is on the road to recovery, and the assistance granted in this declaration will expedite that process enormously.”

Much of the region is included in the disaster declaration – including Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine, Murray, Redwood, Renville, Lac Qui Parle, Chippewa, Rock and Nobles County along with the Upper Sioux Community.

The disaster declaration means the federal government will pay 75 percent of the cost to repair public infrastructure and the state will cover the remaining 25 percent using money from a special contingency fund.