President Trump approves disaster declaration for Sept. storm damage

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Governor Kristi Noem today announced that President Donald Trump has approved a presidential disaster declaration for September storm damage done in South Dakota, including the three tornadoes that struck Sioux Falls and the extreme flooding in communities such as Madison and Mitchell.

“This is good news for South Dakota communities, and I’m grateful to President Trump for responding so quickly,” said Noem. “Every aspect of our South Dakota way of life has been impacted by this year’s devastating storms. We have a long way to go, but this will be helpful as we rebuild and recover.”

The declaration, which includes both individual and public assistance, covers the period of Sept. 9-Sept. 26. Preliminary assessments total at least $17 million in requested federal assistance.

Total individual assistance damage is estimated at more than $8 million. Counties included in the request for individual assistance are Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, and Yankton, and the Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation and Yankton Indian Reservation. FEMA’s Individual Assistance program provides grants to individuals and families for expenses related to home repairs and rental assistance.

Total public assistance damages are estimated at more than $8.8 million. Counties included in the request for public assistance are Aurora, Brookings, Brule, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Turner, Union, and Yankton and the Yankton Indian Reservation and Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation. FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses eligible state and local governments, and some non-profit entities, for damage to publicly owned infrastructure.

“Families, business owners, farmers and ranchers have all been affected by these severe storms, tornadoes, and floods that damaged homes and public infrastructure,” said Noem. “Recovery efforts will take years to complete, but these dollars will be incredibly helpful in that process.”

South Dakota has now received four disaster declarations this year. The state received a federal disaster declaration in June for severe winter storms and flooding that occurred March 13-April 26 and that affected 58 counties and three reservations. A second disaster declaration for the period of May 26-June 7 was approved in September for flooding and storms that occurred in 25 counties and two reservations. The third declaration was for damage done by severe storms and flooding that occurred June 30-July 21 in six counties and two reservations.

FEMA officials are now in South Dakota working on the first three federal disaster declarations and will continue to work on the fourth. More details on the process for the fourth disaster declaration will be announced at a later date.

Noem has designated the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Emergency Management as the lead state government agency for the disaster recovery.