The Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected South Dakota’s request for individual assistance programs to help residents affected by the record flooding in Pierre, according to a news release on Friday from the Department of Public Safety.
The news release said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said damage to homes and businesses was not severe enough to warrant federal assistance.
“Here in South Dakota, we all know that flooding has impacted thousands of residents and damaged hundreds of homes,” Kristi Turman, director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, said in the news release. “Unfortunately, FEMA declined to find that we meet their requirements for individual assistance programs.”
South Dakota has received a presidential disaster declaration because of flood damage to public infrastructure in 37 counties. The state asked for a similar declaration to bring federal help to individuals in 11 counties hardest hit by flooding in 2011, according to the news release.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard said the denial is very disappointing but said South Dakotans will seek other forms of help and will work together to help communities recover.
“South Dakotans are a resilient, self-reliant people,” Daugaard said in the news release. “We responded to the flooding together. We will recover together. We will seek every possible source of help, including state and local government resources and all the resources the private and nonprofit voluntary groups can offer. We are disappointed, but we are not disheartened.”