Emergency Declaration Signed by Governor Kristi Noem
On Friday, March 15 South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an emergency declaration that allows the use of additional state funds for South Dakota counties impacted by this week’s blizzard and flood.
“The storms this week have been extremely difficult for many of our communities,” said Noem. “This has been a statewide emergency with people impacted by heavy snow, high winds, rain, and freezing rain. This emergency declaration provides state agencies flexibility to help counties recover.”
The extra money comes from the state’s Disaster Fund. The money can be used for costs incurred by state agencies for resources deployed to the scene at the request of a county. The emergency order also allows for the activation of the South Dakota National Guard if necessary.
Noem said the state has been providing resources and technical assistance as needed to those counties dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Departments like Public Safety and Transportation have been working with affected counties before the storm’s onset earlier this week. On Thursday, Noem activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) that is being used to help coordinate the state’s response.
“We have an obligation to help counties, and we will,” said Noem. “We want to ensure our infrastructure remains strong during this period and people get the help they need.”
Depending on the extent of damage, the state may eventually request a Presidential Disaster Declaration asking for federal funds to aid recovery efforts.