ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is asking for a federal disaster declaration for Minnesota after an ice storm paralyzed the southwest part of the state.

Dayton sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday, requesting federal aid to help the area recover from the April storm.

The letter estimates damage to infrastructure at more than $26 million in five southwestern Minnesota counties: Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock.

Dayton says ice buildup on trees, towers and power lines caused about 3,000 utility poles to snap and left 170 miles of unsalvageable power lines.

The governor says some small communities used up their annual public works budget responding to the storm.

Dayton says if the federal aid is quickly approved, the Minnesota Legislature could OK state aid before its May 20th adjournment.

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