Flooding in South Dakota prompts declaration emergency from Gov. Noem

PIERRE, S.D.(Dakota Scout)- A state of emergency has been declared across southeast South Dakota amid a mass flooding event.

Gov. Kristi Noem’s office announced Saturday afternoon that Executive Order 2024-04 has been signed, authorizing the use of emergency disaster funds as local and state agencies continue to grapple with as much as 18 inches of rainfall hitting the region in a 72-hour period.

“It helps us … to have the right paperwork for counties and towns and people to get reimbursed when there are losses because of flooding such as this,” Noem said during a tele-news conference Saturday morning, also attended by Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and South Dakota Public Safety Secretary Bob Perry.

According to the governor’s office, 21 counties have experienced significant flooding, forcing roadway closures and damaging private property.

The governor, who is out of state this weekend speaking at a conservative political conference in Washington D.C., said damage to public infrastructure must reach about $1.6 million before an emergency order can be put in place by her office. A state-level disaster declaration is also required for South Dakota and local governments to be eligible Federal Emergency Management Agency aid.

The executive order also issued a “no boating declaration” on the waters of Lake Alvin in Lincoln County, Lake Henry in Bon Homme County, Marindahl Lake in Yankton County, Menno Lake in Hutchinson County, and Swan Lake in Turner County, South Dakota.