TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)- In the wake of devastating wind storms in Northern Idaho, the governor has declared a state of emergency in four counties Monday.

The governor's office says Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, acting as governor, made the announcement while Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is out of state. The declaration includes Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties. The move comes after winds exceeding 100 mph tore down trees and power lines on November 18th.

The declaration opens the use of State and federal funds to cover the estimated $2.6 million cost of damages. Since the storms tore through the area many utilities have since been repaired thanks to help from crews from various states and Canada, according to the governor's office.

“The federal funds will help eliminate the potential financial burden on taxpayers and power users,” Governor Little said. “First responders, power crews, city and county officials and residents pulled together. Now it’s up to government to ensure that local emergency services get the resources they need to be effective and responsive when disaster strikes.”