The state Department of Public Safety is asking FEMA to assess the damage from recent ice and snow storms in southwestern Minnesota. The request includes preliminary damage assessments for public assistance in Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties. State disaster recovery experts met with local officials this week and decided there was a need to determine if cleanup and recovery costs meet the threshold for federal funding. Freezing rain and ice toppled power poles in the Worthington area last week, leaving many residents without electricity. The preliminary damage assessment is the first step in determining whether Governor Dayton will request a presidential declaration.