Agencies provide more than $6.5 million in assistance so far

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Press Release) – One month after President Donald J. Trump approved a major disaster declaration for South Dakota because of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, federal agencies have provided more than $6.5 million in grants and loans to assist in recovery as of Dec. 18, 2019.

In the first 30 days since the Nov. 18 declaration, FEMA has paid more than $3.05 million for home repair, rental expenses and more than $267,500 for repair or replacement of personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving expenses and other disaster-related needs.

In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $3.19 million in low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

South Dakotans have filed 215 claims against flood insurance polices for damage caused by the September flooding.  To date, more than $9.2 million has been paid to policy holders for flood losses.  More information about flood insurance is available at or by contacting your local insurance agent.

To date, 1,411 South Dakotans have contacted FEMA about potential disaster assistance.  Those with disaster-related damage can contact FEMA:

  • Online at gov
  • By calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY: 800-462-7585. Lines are open daily from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Help is available in most languages.
  • At one of FEMA’s disaster recovery center locations. Find your closest center at  gov/drclocator or by calling the Helpline. Centers are accessible and are equipped with video remote interpreting and assistive listening devices. Ask DRC manager for an in-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, if needed.

Federal Assistance: The deadline to contact FEMA and register for federal disaster assistance is

Jan. 17, 2020.

FEMA housing inspectors have completed 1,176 inspections of homes damaged by the severe winter storms, tornadoes or flooding.

Specialists in disaster recovery centers (DRCs) have met with 533 visitors in 10 counties to assist with their applications.

Other FEMA-funded programs carried out by state agencies are:

Crisis Counseling

FEMA has awarded the State of South Dakota $152,759 for Immediate Services of Crisis Counseling for declared counties and reservations. The service helps individuals and communities recover from natural and human-caused disasters through community outreach and access to mental health services. The agency can be reached on the Farm and Rural Stress Hotline at 800-691-4336. Counseling is free, confidential and available 24/7.

Legal Assistance

A toll-free disaster hotline is available to South Dakotans who may need legal assistance while recovering from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred from September 9-26, 2019. The toll-free number is 800-952-3015. The hotline is hosted by East River Legal Services during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Workers, self-employed individuals and farmworkers who have been unable to work due to the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred Sept. 9-26, 2019 may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA).

DUA is available for individuals in Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody and Yankton counties and the Flandreau and the Yankton Indian Reservations.

Claims must be filed by Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. For further information, go to the Department of Labor and Regulation’s DUA webpage at For a Fact Sheet on FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, go to