Minneapolis City Council OKs disaster declaration

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.

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:

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