Governor Dayton has declared a state of emergency in 26 Minnesota counties hit by storms, flash floods and massive power outages last month. The June storms downed power lines, toppled trees, sucked chunks of roadway down sinkholes and pushed rivers over their banks across the state. This week’s executive order declaring a state of peacetime emergency includes Carver, McLeod, Renville and Sibley Counties in the local area. The declaration is part of the process that will allow the state to call for federal disaster assistance in the areas hit hardest by the storms. Minnesota officials have already asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct damage assessments in the affected counties. The federal government will not step in until the cost of cleanup from a disaster tops $7.26-million, but state officials expect Minnesota’s cleanup costs to exceed that figure.