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Nasty Weather Prompts Governor Daugaard to Ask for Federal Help

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help South Dakotans whose homes and businesses were damaged by a tornado and flooding last month. 

A press release from the Governor’s office through the Office of Public Safety makes the  request for the Individual Assistance program from FEMA. If the President approves the declaration request, FEMA can offer a range of programs designed to help state residents who have been impacted by the flooding.

In a letter to FEMA, Gov. Daugaard noted that the damage occurred because of a pattern of severe storms, flooding and tornadoes during the period from June 13 through June 20. The storms caused flash flooding in many communities along the Big Sioux River in southeastern South Dakota. About 90 percent of the homes within the city of Canton sustained flood damage.

At least six tornadoes impacted Jerauld County on June 18, including one that caused severe damage to the county seat of Wessington Springs.

Federal, state and local teams assessed the extent and severity of damage to homes and businesses in three counties on June 26-27. Based on those assessments, Gov. Daugaard determined that a request for Individual Assistance programs is justified. The Governor’s request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available to South Dakota citizens. South Dakota last received an Individual Assistance declaration in 2011 for widespread damage from Missouri River flooding.

Counties included in the request for federal individual assistance are Jerauld, Lincoln and Union.

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