FEMA rejects request for individual flood assistance

Governor Dennis Daugaard received word today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has rejected South Dakota�s request for Individual Assistance programs to help residents impacted by record flooding.

The denial of Individual Assistance came in a letter from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who said damage to homes and businesses fell short of the severity and magnitude to warrant federal assistance.

�Here in South Dakota, we all know that flooding has impacted thousands of  residents and damaged hundreds of homes,�� said Kristi Turman, director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management. �Unfortunately, FEMA declined to find that we meet their requirements for Individual Assistance programs.��

South Dakota has received a Presidential Disaster Declaration because of flood damage to public infrastructure in 37 counties. The state asked for a similar declaration to bring federal help to individuals in 11 counties hardest hit by flooding in 2011.

Gov. Daugaard called the denial very disappointing but said South Dakotans will continue to work together to help individuals and communities recover over the coming weeks and months.

�South Dakotans are a resilient, self-reliant people,� Gov. Daugaard said. �We responded to the flooding together. We will recover together. We will seek every possible source of help, including state and local government resources and all the resources the private and non-profit voluntary groups can offer. We are disappointed, but we are not disheartened.��

The last time South Dakota qualified for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for individual assistance was in 2007, when early-May storms caused sudden, widespread flooding in the Aberdeen area.

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