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Gov. Daugaard Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration For Spring Flooding

          Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, June 15, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety, 605-773-6196



Gov. Daugaard Requests Presidential

Disaster Declaration For Spring Flooding


PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help three northern South Dakota counties recover from spring flooding that did more than $3.1 million in damage to public property.


The request covers public assistance for Campbell, McPherson and Walworth counties. The flooding occurred May 17-18, 2018.


In a letter to President Donald Trump, Gov. Daugaard says more than 13 inches of rain fell along a line from Selby to Long Lake, South Dakota. The heavy rain resulted in flooded roads and the wind gusts between 60 and 80 miles per hour caused additional damage. Lake Hiddenwood Dam at Hiddenwood State Park in Walworth County was breached due to the heavy rains, according to the Governor.


“The entire reservoir at Lake Hiddenwood was drained and water from the dam flowed for miles toward Sand Lake near the Walworth/Campbell county borders,” Gov. Daugaard wrote the President. “This resulted in significant overland flooding and many county and secondary roads went underwater and had to be barricaded by local officials.”


Earlier this month, Gov. Daugaard had requested that FEMA do a joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the impacted areas for public assistance damage. That assessment was done this week. The Governor says the assessment confirmed that the three counties had suffered “severe impacts” to public infrastructure.


Gov. Daugaard stated in his letter that the state has responded to seven previous Presidential Disaster Declarations since 2013. The Governor said the state still is working through the recovery process from four of those disasters with FEMA. The three counties involved in this request also were part of the presidential disaster request approved for the 2016 Christmas day blizzard.


“As you understand, recovery from disasters takes years after the initial event to fully recover physically, emotionally and financially,” Gov. Daugaard says in this latest assistance request letter. “The costs associated with this disaster combined with the last seven declarations increases the state’s financial stress if federal assistance is not provided. “


The request is necessary for federal disaster funds to be made available to South Dakota. If the President grants the declaration, up to 75 percent of eligible costs could be reimbursed by the government. The Governor’s request does not guarantee that funding will be made available to South Dakota.


The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management will coordinate the state’s role in the request. The Office of Emergency Management is part of the Department of Public Safety.