BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) – After meeting with resort owners who were hit by recent severe thunderstorms, Gov. Mark Dayton declared the Brainerd lakes area “open for business.”

Dayton visited the Brainerd area Friday. Reports say he took a helicopter survey of the damage and heard the concerns of resort owners. Sunday’s storms and 70 mph winds forced at least two resorts to shut down, displacing vacationers.

The resorts will need a few more days to be completely up and running, but owners say they’re ready for visitors. The resorts that aren’t at full capacity are referring guests to other places with room.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and several state lawmakers also joined Friday’s tour.

Nolan praised cleanup efforts and said the area is ready for tourists, “so keep ‘em coming.”

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photo courtesy Minnesota Power

Brainerd, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Mark Dayton is visiting the Brainerd Lakes area today to view the devastation caused by the severe storms moved across Minnesota Sunday night and early Monday.

He was scheduled to meet this morning with some of the resort owners affected by both storm damage and power outages before touring the region by helicopter to get a firsthand look at the effects of straight-line winds that gusted to around 80 miles per hour as the storm blasted through the region.

The storm downed hundreds of trees and power lines, and also caused significant damage to a number of buildings in the Brainerd area. At last report, Minnesota Power was estimating that some homes and businesses would not have their power restored until Saturday or Sunday.

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