SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that disaster assistance for Yankton County is being made available to help local governments rebuild public property damaged by the recent severe storms and flooding in South Dakota.
“When FEMA initially advised us that Yankton County was not in the original disaster declaration, we asked them to return to Yankton county and continue to identify rain related damages that occurred prior to June 16,” said Gov. Mike Rounds. “They acted very swiftly, and we’re pleased to announce that they have found Yankton county eligible for Public assistance. Yankton has been appropriately identified as qualifying for disaster assistance. FEMA’s quick response is greatly appreciated,” Rounds said.
Justin DeMello, Federal Coordinating Officer for the recovery effort, said the assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
“Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help South Dakota achieve a full and lasting recovery,” DeMello said.
Affected local governments in nine counties and the Rosebud Reservation are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on July 20 and made available through FEMA’s public assistance program for state and local governments.
The president declared the following nine South Dakota counties disaster areas: Haakon, Jackson, Marshall, Mellette, Minnehaha, Todd, Tripp, Turner and Yankton Counties.
The Office of Emergency Management has mailed out briefing packets to all potential applicants in the declared counties and the Rosebud Reservation. The information outlines the procedure for requesting assistance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA’s continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.