Daugaard requests federal help to cover costs of floods, storms - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Daugaard requests federal help to cover costs of floods, storms & tornado in South Dakota

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This is just one of the homes in Allen, SD damaged by a tornado in late May. This is just one of the homes in Allen, SD damaged by a tornado in late May.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help those affected by severe thunderstorms, a tornado and flooding in late May.

The storms rolled over South Dakota from May 24 through May 31, bring heavy rainfall and flash flooding and damaging more than $1.4 million in public property, according to preliminary assessments.

Daugaard is requesting public assistance for five counties including Lincoln, Union, Lawrence, Corson and Bennett counties.

In a letter to the president, Daugaard explained how rushing water from the rainfall created an immediate public health and safety threat with some roads, bridges and culverts washed out and debris covering other roadways in four counties. He also mentioned how floodwaters inundated Liberty Elementary School's gymnasium and hallways.

Disaster relief is also requested for part of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A tornado of EF-1 magnitude ripped through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation community of Allen in Bennett County destroyed three tribal homes, damaged seven others and damaged a church that serves as the epicenter of community functions.

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which encompasses counties on both sides of the North Dakota-South Dakota border, requested its own presidential disaster declaration on June 18 for damages caused by the late-May storm system. About $800,000 of the estimated $1.2 million in damages occurred on reservation land on the South Dakota side of the state border.

"The state did not include their damage in this request,'' the Governor said in a news release. "However, it should be recognized that both this disaster request and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request should be viewed together to understand the full impact to the entire state.''

If the President grants the declaration, up to 75 percent of eligible costs could be reimbursed by the federal government. The Governor's request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available to South Dakota.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency participated earlier this week in the preliminary damage assessments, according to a news release from Daugaard's office.

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