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BATHKE: Federal assistance may be available after flooding

The FEMA Public Assistance program provides federal reimbursement to state, local, and tribal governments and certain private nonprofits for flood damage to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts, sewer lift stations, and powerlines.

The FEMA Public Assistance program provides federal reimbursement to state, local, and tribal governments and certain private nonprofits for flood damage to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts, sewer lift stations, and powerlines. A disaster declaration must be declared at each level of government affected. There is no guarantee of federal disaster funding.

The FEMA Individual Assistance program is much rarer in South Dakota. Homeowners should not expect federal disaster funding, but instead should utilize insurance proceeds and voluntary agency assistance for recovery. Homeowners should document damage to their homes with receipts and photographs for insurance purposes. Homeowners are encouraged to report home damage to their county emergency manager so officials have an idea of the number of affected homes in the county. This information will be shared with state emergency management officials as part of the assessment process. The state requires details of the flood's impact to private property prior to requesting FEMA Individual Assistance.

Davison County has sandbags available in Mitchell and Mount Vernon. In Mount Vernon, the sandbags are available at the Mount Vernon Post Office. In Mitchell, self-service sandbag stations are set up at the city of Mitchell street shop on West Eighth Avenue for Mitchell residents and at the Davison County highway shop on West Fifth Avenue for county residents. Due to mud please do not access this station from Eighth Avenue. As of Thursday, the county has provided 16,000 sandbags to residents and municipalities.

Water levels and estimated crests are changing daily. Information is available by accessing the NWS monitors at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=fsd .

A massive amount of water is entering Lake Mitchell via Firesteel Creek. The NWS monitor north of Mount Vernon is at 14.04 feet as of Thursday, expecting to crest at 14.8 feet on Monday, March 25. Lake Mitchell is still covered in ice, which may cause shore damage when the ice starts to move. Upstream roads and bridges are being monitored.

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In Mitchell, the streets most affected by this flooding are Sanborn Boulevard, North Foster, and East Havens, which have deteriorated and are being repaired the best they can.

City utility crews continue to remove snow and ice from storm inlets, to ensure culverts are open, and to clear debris from the Dry Run Creek drainage way. Water levels continue to be monitored.

Several rural county and township roads are impassable, and no travel is advised to reduce further damage. Many have water over the road but may not have barricades. Public Works has been monitoring roads, bridges, etc. and addressing damage the best they can.

We anticipate 100 homes will be affected by rising water this weekend, depending on the crest of the James River. Bridge/road closures are expected for Highway 38, Shanard Road, 250th 247th, and 245th, all on the James River.

The railroad going east out of Mitchell may also be flooded.

Water is moving, but large chunks of ice coming downstream will cause ice jams. Firesteel, Kibbee Ditch, Enemy Creek, 12 Mile Creek, and the James River are expected to have flooding issues.

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