Federal Disaster Dollars Available for Parts of S.D. Damaged by Flooding

May 24, 2007

Federal disaster dollars will be available for parts of South Dakota damaged by flooding earlier this month, the White House said earlier this week.

The declaration will make federal funds available to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

“We received word from the White House … that South Dakota qualifies for federal aid. That means eligible people could receive financial assistance through Federal Emergency Management Agency grants and-or U.S. Small Business Administration loans,” Gov. Mike Rounds said.

Eligible counties include Beadle, Brown, Clark, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Miner, Sanborn, Spink and Yankton. FEMA will make available $7 million for individual assistance for people in those counties, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Tuesday night.

The storms included some tornadoes and heavy rain. Brown County and Aberdeen were especially hard hit by flooding after getting an estimated 8-10 inches of rain.

According to the White House, assistance can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Rounds had ordered emergency state aid while waiting for the federal declaration. On May 14, Rounds had asked for the disaster declaration for homes and businesses for 12 counties. Aurora and Jerauld counties, which Rounds had on his list, were not part of the presidential disaster declaration.

“This assistance is welcome news to the hundreds of South Dakota families dealing with the aftermath of these destructive storms,” Thune said in a release.

“After visiting this region, there was no question in my mind that assistance from FEMA was crucial to the cleanup, repair and recovery. My staff and I have been in constant contact with the administration expressing the need for federal assistance. I expect that this assistance will come quickly, so those that have already suffered so much can get the help they need.”

On Saturday, the governor asked for a disaster declaration to repair public infrastructure.

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