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Published February 26, 2010, 10:55 PM

Disaster Declaration Approved for ND

January storm meets criteria for federal assistance

ND winter storm prompts disaster declaration

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday approved a disaster declaration for the winter storm that knocked out power in wide areas of North Dakota late last month.

The president's decision means federal aid will be available to help pay for repairs and cleanup. The declaration covers 25 of North Dakota's 53 counties and the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.

Gov. John Hoeven asked for the declaration after the storm. Local governments and rural electric cooperatives estimated it would cost more than $20 million to repair the damage.

Hoeven says the federal government will pay 75 percent of eligible cleanup costs and the state will pay 10 percent. Local governments are responsible for the rest.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.