PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Governor Kristi Noem is pleased that President Trump has approved the State’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. This will allow federal money to be used to help citizens and local governmental entities recover from property damage sustained during the statewide winter weather and flooding this spring. The President signed the declaration late on June 7, 2019. The state made the request May 22, 2019.
“This is great news for our state as it means that those still recovering from the severe weather will get much needed assistance,” said Noem. “We thank the President for his actions.”
The declaration means FEMA teams will soon be coming to the state to document all damage sustained to both individual and public properties. More details on that process will be announced at a later date.
In May, the Governor requested FEMA assistance to help with repairs for damage done to both public property as well as to individual homes and businesses. A preliminary damage assessment indicates about $43 million in damage to public infrastructure in 58 counties and on three reservations. The preliminary damage assessment for individual assistance is about $3 million covering 12 counties and three reservations.
Public property damage assistance has been approved for the counties of: Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Davison, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Grant, Gregory, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, McCook, McPherson, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Sully, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Walworth, Yankton, and Ziebach, as well as the Cheyenne River, Lake Traverse, and Rosebud Indian Reservations.
Individual assistance has been approved for the counties of: Bennett, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Dewey, Hutchinson, Jackson, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Todd, Yankton, and Ziebach counties as well as the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud Indian Reservations. Individual assistance was not approved for Brookings, Kingsbury, Hamlin, and Turner counties as additional information is needed. It is possible those counties could be added at a later time.
In her letter requesting a disaster declaration, Noem said the severe weather this spring affected all parts of the state. People had to be rescued from their flooded homes, highways and roads were damaged, city infrastructure systems were overwhelmed by the high water, and the state’s agricultural industry was impacted.
“South Dakotans, as they always do, have helped each other recover from the winter storms and flooding,” Noem said. “But this federal assistance is the extra boost individuals, businesses, and governments need to recover from this disaster.”
South Dakota last received an Individual Assistance declaration in 2011 for widespread damage from Missouri River flooding. The last Public Assistance declaration was granted in 2016 following a Christmas ice storm.