FEMA staff still assessing 2019 damage in South Dakota

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BURKE, S.D. Gregory County Commissioner and Chairman Myron Johnson was outfitted in construction gear during a much calmer Thursday afternoon. He was helping the Burke community he was born into and grew around clean up the mess that followed strong straight line winds Tuesday. It has become a familiar process dealing with one disaster after the other as Gregory County has also dealt with plenty of flooding too. As a fifth year county commissioner, he jokingly admitted he’s had his work cut out for him.

“It makes you think a little bit,” he said. “This is our fifth disaster, we’ve declared four disasters since March, so it seems like it doesn’t stop.”

Gregory County leaders have been approved for the first of two relief applications, but are waiting on three more following more severe weather. This latest ordeal could require another one as well, but plenty of areas and individuals across South Dakota are not far behind as Gregory joins twelve other counties designated for individual disaster assistance. It seems like FEMA has had a presence in South Dakota for a majority of 2019, and there is currently no time limit for how long staff will remain. The resources for individual communities are starting to rescind little-by-little, but they stress that they will still work with people affected in different capacities.