|Governor Kristi Noem ordered the opening of the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Pierre to help coordinate the state’s response to ongoing blizzard and flood conditions and announced that the state is preparing an emergency declaration.
The EOC will be located at the Klein Building, located at 221 South Central Avenue in Pierre. The building houses the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Emergency Management. The center is expected to be open today (Thursday).
The EOC will be staffed by state Office of Emergency Management personnel. Additional state agencies report to the EOC as their resources are needed to assist county or city governments.
“Having the EOC open gives counties one place to go in state government with their questions or resource requests, “ said Noem. “With the EOC, we have the needed state agencies at one site together to help better manage the response to this severe storm.”
Noem says the state will issue an emergency declaration for the storm. State government continues to provide resources as needed to counties and cities dealing with the local impacts of the storm. Agencies like the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation have been working with local entities on their particular requests.
“We expect several counties to approve emergency declarations once they have time following the immediate response to the storm,” said Noem. “Once that happens, the state will issue its own emergency declaration. In the meantime, we are staying in touch with all counties across the state and finding the resources they need to respond effectively and keep South Dakotans safe. The timeline on an emergency declaration has no impact on the type or resources available or the speed of delivery.”
Noem has requested that people stay at home Thursday to allow crews time to clean roads and streets.