As expected, the Minneapolis City Council voted this morning to extend Mayor R.T. Rybak's disaster declaration in the wake of Sunday's tornado.
It also heard that preliminary damage estimates are running north of $166 million.[jump]
Ratification of the disaster declaration sets in motion a formal process to seek state and federal assistance: The city, the county and the state all have to declare themselves overwhelmed before the Federal Emergency Management Agency opens its wallet.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison toured the damaged Minneapolis neighborhoods on Monday, which fall within his district, and promised to "lean on" FEMA to make sure federal dollars find their way to help the victims. (Hat tip: Patch)
The council's action also keeps in place the exclusion zone rules establish immediately after the twister struck.
More on the tornado:
- Minneapolis tornado kills one person, rips up homes
- Twin Cities tornado damage 2011: Your photos
- Minneapolis tornado: Videos from the scene
- Pawlenty strangely silent on tornado damage to Minnesota
- Minneapolis tornado "exclusion zone" map and details
- Rybak declares disaster, City Council plans emergency meeting
- Xcel says 11,000 tornado victims still without power
- Rob MacIntyre, Raptor Resource Project director, ID'd as tornado victim
- How to help tornado victims in North Minneapolis