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June 26, 2014 05:55 PM

Lt. Gov. Michels Tours Canton Flood Damage

Canton, SD

South Dakota's lieutenant governor is praising the resilience of flood victims in Lincoln County. Matt Michels toured the damage Thursday in Canton. Michels was part of the effort to assess damage to homes and roads throughout the area. He's urging homeowners who've lost so much to flooding, to set aside their pride and ask for help.

Terri Peterson's water-logged world has turned upside down.

"Boys' TV's, the computers, all their clothes," Peterson said.

Peterson still has water in her basement. Crews are working to fix the damage.

"They're tearing down all the drywall to see if the beams can be saved. Now they're tearing out the ceiling because the water was clear up to the ceiling to see what damage is done up there, mold or anything like that," Peterson said.

South Dakota officials taking stock of the damage realize that no map or chart can measure the human toll of flooding.

"Whenever I look at a board like this, it chokes me up because this is the upper Midwest and this is South Dakota,"Michels said.

Lt. Governor Matt Michels saw for himself the challenges homeowners face.

"It's heartbreaking, at the same time, people have each other, people are hurting we don't have any fatalities so let's keep it that way," Michels said.

Michels says the standing water in Canton poses a health risk to residents. He says those overwhelmed by the cleanup need to contact those who can help out.

"It is not a sign of weakness to reach out for help, it's a sign of strength," Michels said.

"It's been really stressful. We're just taking it day by day, trying to get through it. Thank God we have neighbors to help us. Canton is a wonderful place to live," Peterson said.

A community awash in heartache is trying its best to turn the tide.

"We can lose things, but we don't want to lose individuals we can hug," Michels said.

Michels is reminding Canton homeowners to call 211 to report their damage. About 1,100 homes in Canton alone have been impacted by flooding.

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