Governor Kristi Noem has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration today, as well as signing Executive Order 2022-06. The executive order is meant to help the local governments in South Dakota recover from the public infrastructure damage sustained during the storms across the eastern part of the state on May 12 of this year. 

A preliminary damage assessment found that more than $6.7 million in damage was done to the public infrastructure across 20 different counties and also on two reservations. 

Public infrastructure damage assistance is being requested for the following counties: Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Clay, Codington, Day, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Minor, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, and Turner. 

Assistance was also requested for the Flandreau Indian and Lake Traverse Reservations. 

Noem wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden stating that the May 12 storm resulted in the death of two people, wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour in some places, along with a preliminary number of 14 tornadoes. She also noted that, “Widespread damage, including downed power lines, overturned semi-trucks, vehicle crashes, uprooted or snapped trees, and destroyed traffic control signs were reported,” along with nearly 70,000 customers experiencing power outages and the temporary closure of roads and highways. 

Federal funding is not guaranteed with the request. There are currently six open Presidential Disaster Declarations for other events in South Dakota and the state is currently working with FEMA on the recovery process for each of those other disasters.