Gov. Rounds signs FEMA ­ state agreement

Gov. Rounds signs FEMA � state agreement Gov. Mike Rounds has signed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-State of South Dakota agreement which finalizes the Presidential Disaster Declaration approved by the President on July 20. This declaration was based on damage from storms in eight South Dakota counties and the Rosebud Indian Reservation due to heavy rainfalls over a period of two weeks beginning May 28.

"I want to thank President Bush for quickly and positively responding to our request for federal disaster assistance," said Gov. Rounds on the disaster declaration. "We determined that the damages were of such severity and magnitude that effective response was beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments."

During the week of June 21, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment in the counties of Haakon, Jackson, Marshall, Mellette, Minnehaha, Todd, Tripp, Turner and Yankton counties as well as the Rosebud Indian Reservation. From that assessment, the total public damage assessment was $1,530,492.

By this action, cities, counties, townships and certain private non-profit organizations within the disaster declaration area can now apply for immediate disaster relief on a 75 percent federal and 25 percent local match basis. The governor has authorized that approximately $150,000 from the State of South Dakota Emergency Disaster Fund to help offset the costs to local governments and certain non-profit organizations.

"The rain and subsequent flooding caused severe damage to roads, culverts and bridges, and this assistance will truly help our cities and counties who are facing tight budgets," Rounds said.

On Thursday, July 8, Gov. Rounds wrote President Bush requesting an Executive Proclamation declaring disasters in Haakon, Jackson, Marshall, Mellette, Minnehaha, Todd, Tripp, and Turner and Yankton counties and the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Also requested was the Hazard

Mitigation Grant Program statewide.

The president authorized the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the entire state, which provides grants on a cost share basis for local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

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