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July 14, 2014 06:05 PM

FEMA Assesses Infrastructure Damage In Lincoln County

Canton, SD

FEMA officials are in South Dakota this week looking at storm damage. They plan to visit 12 counties and one Indian reservation.

Last week FEMA rejected the state's request for Individual Assistance programs to help repair damaged homes and businesses. Monday, FEMA officials were looking at damaged roads and bridges.  

Nearly a month later, you can still see the damage on roads and bridges in Lincoln County. The county's Emergency Manager believes the damage to infrastructure across the state warrants federal help.

"We have more than enough damage just in Lincoln County to qualify the state to be a part of a Presidential Disaster Declaration," Harold Timmerman said.

Representatives from FEMA are getting a look at that damage. Crews will be in Lincoln County for three days to try to get a better understanding of how widespread the damage is.

"The things we look at are the major erosion events or damaged facilities that have occurred as a result of the storm event and try to document as close as we can visually to how close that fits to the cost that's been reported," Project Specialist Robert Myers said.

Before FEMA arrived, the county collected damage estimates from townships in the area. Now federal officials are looking to see if the numbers make sense. In Lincoln County, townships' figures did add up with the federal numbers, and Timmerman says that's because the area has dealt with this process before.

"We went through this process last year so the townships are a little bit familiar with how this works and how they need to figure things so we're finding the township estimates are very close to what FEMA allows," Timmerman said.

If a Presidential Disaster Declaration is granted, federal funding will be made available to help fix what last month's storms destroyed.

After FEMA officials visit all the affected areas, the numbers will be added together for an application that will be sent to the federal government.

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