Governor Noem requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for May 12th storm damage

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Friday, Governor Kristi Noem requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration and signed Executive Order 2022-06 to help South Dakota local governments recover from public infrastructure damage sustained as a result of tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred on May 12 in the eastern part of the state.

FEMA assistance is requested to help with repairs for damage done to public infrastructure. A preliminary damage assessment indicates more than $6.7 million in damage was done to public infrastructure in 20 counties and on two reservations.

Public infrastructure damage assistance is being requested for the counties of: Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Clay, Codington, Day, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Minor, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, and Turner as well as the Flandreau Indian and Lake Traverse Reservations.

In a letter to President Biden, Noem wrote that the storm resulted in two deaths, a preliminary number of 14 reported tornadoes, and wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour in some places. The storms also resulted in the temporary closure of roads and highways. Nearly 70,000 customers experienced power outages.

“Widespread damage, including downed power lines, overturned semi-trucks, vehicle crashes, uprooted or snapped trees, and destroyed traffic control signs, was reported,” wrote Governor Noem. “An EF2 tornado, with wind speeds estimated at 120 mph, passed through the town of Castlewood. Several structures and homes sustained significant damage, including the Castlewood school.”

Noem’s request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available to South Dakota. But the Governor, in her letter, said while South Dakotans are working together on the recovery process, federal assistance is still needed.

“The impact of this event will be felt in these communities well into the future,” Noem continued. “However, with the availability of federal assistance, combined with the state, local, and voluntary assistance provided, it will help individuals, businesses, and governments inch closer to recovering from this disaster.”

South Dakota currently has six open Presidential disaster declarations for other events and is working with FEMA on the recovery process for each of those disasters.

You can find the request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration here.