S.D. Officials Assess Damages Following Rains

July 8, 2005

South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety is continuing to work with local officials in Brown, Day, Marshall, and Roberts Counties to evaluate damage in the region caused by recent heavy rains and flash flooding on June 29.

On Thursday, state Office of Emergency Management (OEM) teams visited all four counties and met with county emergency managers, county highway superintendents, and township supervisors to perform local damage assessments to document all flood damage:

* Northeast regional coordinator Jason Forrest and mitigation coordinator Cindy Maszk were to assess damages in Marshall and Roberts Counties

* Southeast regional coordinator Tom Welch and National Flood Insurance Program coordinator Michelle Saxman were to assess damages in Day County

* Mitigation and recovery manager Jason Bauder and state trainer Dennis Anderson were to assess damages in Brown County

According to the OEM director, Kristi Turman, most damage currently being reported in the state is to county and township roads, bridges, and culverts. Marshall county commissioners issued a disaster resolution this past Tuesday morning.

Following the evaluation, a county will determine if the event is beyond its jurisdiction’s capability to manage. If the county cannot manage the damages on its own, the county will declare a disaster, requesting help from the state.

When the state receives a disaster request, the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management will verify the reported damages. The state also assesses the dollar amount of the damages, determining whether the county reaches the threshold to request a joint preliminary damage assessment with the federal government, specifically the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Immediately following the detailed damage assessment, South Dakota officials were to determine whether to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

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