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Sen. Johnson announces $3.6 million FEMA disaster aid funding

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) announced Friday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $3.6 million in federal disaster aid to help South Dakota communities recover from several June storms, including the Wessington Springs tornado and heavy rainfall and flooding that affected many parts of the state.

"This federal disaster funding will help South Dakota communities affected by the June storms continue to rebuild their towns," said Johnson. "Between the Wessington Springs tornado and heavy rainfall and flooding across our state, South Dakotans have experienced particularly damaging storms this year. I'm pleased that FEMA is doing its part in helping aid in the ongoing recovery."

On July 18, Johnson joined Senator Thune and Representative Noem in sending a letter to President Obama expressing support for Governor Daugaard's request for a major disaster declaration for public assistance, which the President granted on July 28. Today's announcement means assistance has been made available to Butte, Clay, Corson, Dewey, Hanson, Jerauld, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Perkins, Turner, Union and Ziebach counties and the Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux tribal nations.

This funding marks the first round of disaster aid. FEMA will review and approve additional projects by mid-November.

The disaster funding, as described by FEMA, is below:

The disaster funds reimburse applicants for a variety of disaster recovery costs such as emergency work, removal of storm related debris, road and bridge repair and the restoration of electrical utilities. To date 89 applicants including city, county and tribal governments, state agencies and some private non-profits are working with FEMA and the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management (SDOEM) to document their eligible disaster related costs.

The Public Assistance Program provides funding to local government jurisdictions and eligible private non-profits for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure as well as costs incurred for disaster cleanup or emergency actions taken to protect lives or property.

FEMA reimburses applicants not less than 75 percent of the cost of eligible projects and the State of South Dakota provides an additional 10 percent cost share.