As harsh weather continues to bear down on South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem is requesting the White House grant two additional presidential disaster declarations to cover $11 million in additional damage for a number of counties that includes Fall River.
Noem's office announced the additional requests for federal assistance after President Donald Trump signed a $46 million disaster declaration in June to cover damage from back-to-back winter storms and subsequent flooding in March and April. A separate disaster declaration was signed for flood damages on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Since this spring's storms, Jason Bauder from the state's Office of Emergency Management said South Dakotans have not caught a break in inclement weather.
Noem's $8 million presidential disaster request would cover damages done between May 21 and June 7 in 25 counties and on two reservations: 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 and Ziebach Counties, plus the Cheyenne River and Rosebud reservations.
You have free articles remaining.
The second $3 million request is for damages that occurred between June 30 and July 21 in six counties and on two reservations: Butte, Gregory, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Meade and Tripp counties, plus the Cheyenne River and Lower Brule reservations.
Though the requests are for separate weather events from this spring's, Bauder said March and April's floods "set the stage for ground saturation," with every subsequent storm this summer "just compounding that issue."
Bauder said there are currently more than 200 Federal Emergency Management Agency workers stationed in South Dakota, working with local governments to fund redevelopment to public infrastructure, homes and businesses. It's a long process to approve the spending in the first place, then to rebuild; Bauder said it will "certainly" take years until South Dakota rebuilds itself from the spring storms alone.
Some areas have started with restoration, he said, but often at a cost to the local governments before federal and state dollars can reimburse them, Bauder said. In the end, 75% of the cost to rebuild will be covered by FEMA dollars, 10% by the state, and 15% by local governments.