Today, Governor Kristi Noem requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration and signed Executive Order 2022-08 to help South Dakota local governments recover from public infrastructure damage sustained as a result of tornado, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and hail that occurred June 11-14, 2022 in six counties statewide.
FEMA assistance is requested to help with repairs for damage done to public infrastructure. A preliminary damage assessment conducted this week by FEMA indicates more than $1.6 million in damage was done to public infrastructure in the counties of Butte, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, McPherson, and Spink.
In a letter to President Biden, Noem wrote that the storm resulted in a tornado in Jones County, the first in that county since 1999, straight-line winds of more than 100 miles per hour, golf ball to grapefruit-sized hail, and heavy rains that led to flooding. More than 6,000 customers experienced power outages and many customers were without power for up to four days.
“This time period was exceptionally active across South Dakota,” wrote Governor Noem. “The National Weather Service offices issued 63 more combined severe and tornado warnings during the June 11-14 period than the average number of warnings for this time of year.”
Last month, the President approved a disaster declaration for the 20 South Dakota counties and two reservations impacted by severe weather that occurred May 12, 2022. While Noem’s request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available, she said the six counties included in this request also need federal assistance.
“All six counties in this request are rural and have a low population base, which limits the local government’s ability to financially recover from disasters,” wrote Governor Noem. “Without assistance, costs incurred by the rural electric cooperatives because of these damages will be passed on to families who are already suffering from their losses, many of whom are lower income.”
South Dakota currently has seven open Presidential disaster declarations for other events and is working with FEMA on the recovery process for each of those disasters.