FEMA denies South Dakota’s Disaster Request appeal

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied South Dakota’s appeal for a presidential disaster declaration covering severe weather damage in Brule, Gregory, Lyman, Spink, Tripp and Custer counties from Aug. 2-11, 2019.

State officials had requested a disaster declaration for Public Assistance to damage done by severe storms, tornadoes and floods. The request included Custer County which experienced flash flooding Aug. 2 and Burke where an EF-1 tornado struck Aug. 6.

FEMA declined the initial assistance request and South Dakota appealed. That appeal was denied last week.

In its denial, FEMA officials stated none of the damage was “of the severity and magnitude” that it would prove too costly for the state and local governments to fund themselves.

Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price said the department’s Office of Emergency Management will continue to provide assistance as requested to the six counties. He said assistance may be available to people with individual recovery needs through the South Dakota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. People with individual recovery needs can email sdvoadpresident@outlook.com for more information.