PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that teams made up of federal, state and local personnel will begin assessing the extent of flood-related damages to homes and businesses in 10 South Dakota counties beginning Monday, June 27.
The State has requested Individual Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments for Charles Mix, Clay, Day, Hamlin, Hand, Hughes, Kingsbury, Stanley, Union and Yankton counties.
The assessments are the first step in a process to determine if assistance could be made available through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. The information can be used by the State to determine if damages are beyond state and local capabilities, and if a request for an Individual Assistance presidential declaration is warranted.
“We are still in an active flood fight, and we continue to respond to that threat,’’ Gov. Daugaard said. “At the same time, we need to begin looking at recovery for our citizens. These preliminary assessments will give us a clearer picture of the extent of damage to private property from this year’s flooding. The information gathered will help us determine if federal funds could be made available for residents with homes and businesses impacted by the flooding.’’
Each Preliminary Damage Assessment team includes a specialist from the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management; the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); and a local official most familiar with flood damages to homes and businesses in each county.
The goal is to assess the extent and severity of damages to primary residences. Those assessments determine the level of impact that is beyond local, state and voluntary agency capabilities.
If the State requests an Individual Assistance declaration, the data is used by FEMA to evaluate the request. The request would go to FEMA headquarters for a final decision on approval.
The damage assessments are not a guarantee that there will be a designation of Individual Assistance. Teams may visit private households, but that does not mean residents have registered with FEMA, or that the provision of assistance is forthcoming.
On May 13, President Obama signed a disaster declaration under which state and local governments in 31 South Dakota counties may be eligible for reimbursement of a portion of the cost of repairs to flood-damaged public infrastructure.