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Gov. Daugaard seeks disaster declaration for tornadoes, flooding

PIERRE – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help South Dakota recover from tornadoes and flooding produced by severe storms during the period June 13-20.

The request is for public assistance in 12 counties and the portion of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that lies in Corson County. Preliminary damage assessments showed that the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding caused damage to public property estimated at more than $6.8 million.

The damage occurred in Butte, Clay, Corson, Dewey, Hanson, Jerauld, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Perkins, Turner, Union and Ziebach counties and the Standing Rock Reservation.

In a letter to President Obama, Gov. Daugaard said the series of storms caused flooding that damaged roads, culverts and bridges in many counties, produced at least a dozen tornadoes and forced emergency levee construction that closed a portion of Interstate 29 for two days.

The request is a necessary step for federal disaster funds to be made available to South Dakota. If the declaration is granted, up to 75 percent of eligible costs could be reimbursed by the federal government. The request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available to South Dakota.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency participated earlier this week in the preliminary damage assessments.

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