PIERRE, S.D. – One month after President Donald J. Trump approved a major disaster declaration for South Dakota because of severe winter storms and flooding, federal agencies have provided nearly $1.9 million in grants and loans to assist in recovery.
In the first 30 days since the June 7 declaration, FEMA has paid out $643,091 for home repair or replacement and rental expenses and $114,664 for repair or replacement of personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving expenses and other disaster-related needs.
In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $1.11 million in low-interest loans for homeowners and businesses.
To date, 1,195 South Dakotans have contacted FEMA about potential disaster assistance. Those with disaster-related damages can contact FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov, using the FEMA app, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center.
FEMA-contracted housing inspectors have completed 655 inspections of homes damaged by the severe winter storms or flooding.
FEMA, in partnership with the State Bar of South Dakota State Bar Young Lawyers Section and the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, has set up a disaster legal assistance hotline.
Those affected by the severe storms and flooding who face legal issues may call 877-827-6955 (toll-free), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday to request assistance. When connected to the hotline voicemail, callers should leave their name, phone number, brief details of the assistance needed and in which county they are located. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with South Dakota lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance on matters including:
- Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
- Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
- Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems;
- Counseling on landlord-tenant problems; and
- Advocacy for disaster assistance grants from FEMA and other federal agencies.
Farmers and Ranchers, as well as the self-employed and others not usually covered by traditional unemployment, may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance through the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. To learn more or to file a claim, call the Claims Call Center at 605-626-3179, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. CDT.
Federal Assistance: The deadline to contact FEMA and register for federal disaster assistance is Aug. 6, 2019.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance: The last day to file claims with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is July 15, 2019 for all declared counties and reservations except Turner County. In Turner County, the deadline is July 26.