State seeks preliminary damage assessment of April ice storm

PIERRE – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a joint preliminary damage assessment (PDA) to begin determining the cost of damages to public and private non-profit property caused by the April ice storm in South Dakota.

Assessment teams will include representatives of FEMA, State Office of Emergency Management and local governments. The assessments will begin on Tuesday, April 30 and are scheduled to conclude Thursday, May 2. The teams will visit seven counties and one Tribe that have formally approved disaster declarations.

The assessments are an initial step in the process of estimating the extent of damage incurred by the state, cities, counties, tribes and eligible private, non-profit organizations. Damage to rural electric cooperatives and debris removal costs such as fallen tree limbs and power lines will likely be a significant part of the total cost from the ice storm this spring.

The PDA is an information-gathering process. It gives officials a preliminary estimate of the cost of repairing damage to public structures. Using that information, the Governor determines whether or not to make an official request for a presidential disaster declaration. If damages are determined to be so severe that recovery is beyond the capability of state, local and tribal resources, the Governor may seek federal assistance.

Neither the PDA process nor the Governor’s request is a guarantee that federal assistance will be provided. A presidential disaster declaration authorizes FEMA to implement a recovery program that could reimburse the state, cities, counties, tribes and eligible non-profit organizations for up to 75 percent of the eligible costs related to the ice storm.


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