State and federal funds approved for Waubay flood mitigation project

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Press Release) – FEMA has awarded a $1.66 million grant to the City of Waubay, South Dakota for home acquisitions. The grant will fund the purchase of ten properties that have been impacted by repetitive flooding caused by closed-basin lakes in Day County. This project will allow property owners to relocate away from the flood hazard and prevent future damage.

The project will include the purchase of each structure, demolition and returning the property to green space in perpetuity. These lots will be owned by the City of Waubay. The $1.66 million from FEMA represents a 75 percent cost-share of the project, which totals roughly $2.21 million. The State of South Dakota will contribute $$221,865.80 with the local community responsible for the remaining costs.

“Acquisition projects like this allow property owners in high-risk areas a chance to relocate, permanently eliminating future flood losses.” Said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Jon Huss.

Funding for this grant is provided through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), which is designed to assist states, U.S. territories, federally-recognized tribes, and local communities in increasing their understanding and taking proactive action to help people reduce their losses from natural hazards. The goal is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding in future disasters.

The HMGP program is funded through a percentage of overall federal disaster response and recovery costs, ranging from 15 to 20 percent. South Dakota recently had an enhanced statewide hazard mitigation plan approved. This makes the state eligible for the maximum of 20 percent toward the program.

“Completing our enhanced mitigation plan demonstrated the commitment South Dakota has to minimizing the impact of future disasters,” said Tina Titze, State Coordinating Officer and the director of the state Office of Emergency Management. “The additional federal funding is helping to complete projects like this in Waubay and others around the state.”

Additional information about HMGP can be found at