Lincoln County frustrated with FEMA's denial of individual aid f - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Lincoln County frustrated with FEMA's denial of individual aid following flood

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It was the news many homeowners did not want to hear, Friday: South Dakota has been denied individual aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for recent flooding and tornado damage.

FEMA calls the local damage "minor" and not enough to warrant federal assistance. We stopped by Lincoln County, one of the harder hit spots where people there aren't giving up hope.

It seemed like a full week of endless rain and tornado damage for more than just a few of us... a battle Mother Nature definitely won. 

"About everywhere you go throughout the county, there are roads washed out. Bridges that had dirt washed away and the county is in the process of fixing them as fast as they can. We've got one where, underneath the bridge, there's a hole so deep you can't touch the bottom with a 20 foot pole," Lincoln County Emergency Management Coordinator Harold Timmerman said. 

And that's just a fraction of the damage. 

"It's pretty frustrating. We need some help around here. To help people, these roads, the town of Canton," homeowner Scott Stansbury said.

Frustrating to homeowners, drivers and county leaders. 

"We did two disaster declarations last year. I was hoping that'd be enough for awhile but now we're looking at it again. We'll do everything we can to have FEMA come in and help with the roads, bridges and culverts and go from there," Timmerman said. 

Even though FEMA has denied South Dakota individual assistance, that doesn't mean the fight is over. Teams of federal, state and local officials will meet next week to assess the storm's damage to infrastructure in 12 different South Dakota counties including Butte, Clay, Corson, Dewey, Hanson, Jerauld, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Perkins, Turner, Union and Ziebach counties and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

"It's a really good thing, we need it. The township has tried to fix the roads with gravel but you can't do anything with these big bridges and culverts washed out. Can't do much with money pretty tight," Stansbury said. 

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard also says the denial for individual assistance is disappointing. He says state officials are examining their options and will look at a possible appeal of FEMA's decision. 

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