Pierre – Governor Kristi Noem announced that President Trump has approved the state’s request for a second Presidential Disaster Declaration, allowing federal money to be used to help local governmental entities recover from property damage sustained during severe storms and flooding that occurred statewide in late May and early June.
“South Dakota continues to be battered by heavy rainfall and persistent flooding, and this additional funding will continue to move impacted communities towards recovery,” said Noem. “I appreciate that FEMA and the President recognize the compounding effects of these storms and heavy rain.”
A preliminary damage assessment conducted in June documented about $8 million in damage to public infrastructure in 25 counties and on two reservations. Public property damage assistance has been approved for the counties of: Aurora, Bennett, Brule, Butte, Campbell, Custer, Deuel, Fall River, Gregory, Haakon, Hamlin, Hanson, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, Meade, Mellette, Pennington, Sanborn, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Walworth, Ziebach and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and the Rosebud Reservation.
In her letter to President Trump requesting a disaster declaration, Noem said the continued heavy rainfall fell on already-saturated soils, forcing rivers and lakes back into flood stage or exacerbating ongoing flooding. Rushing water washed out roads and had severe effects on infrastructure, commerce and agriculture.
“The impact of this event will be felt in these communities well into the future,” Noem wrote. “However, with the availability of federal assistance, combined with the state, local, and voluntary assistance provided, it will help individuals, businesses, and government inch closer to recovering from this disaster.
South Dakota last received a federal disaster declaration in June for severe winter storms and flooding that affected 58 counties. That flooding left local roads, culverts and bridges damaged. Ongoing rain and flooding in May and June hampered recovery efforts and caused additional damage. The state has two more federal disaster declaration requests pending for storm damage that occurred later this summer.
FEMA officials are now in South Dakota working on the first federal disaster declaration and will continue to work on the second. More details on the process for the second disaster declaration will be announced at a later date.