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June 17, 2010 10:15 PM

SD Presidential Disasters Cover 78% Of State

Sioux Falls, SD


FEMA has been in South Dakota since March to help respond to damage left behind by the winter blizzards and spring floods, but that's not all FEMA has had its hands full with for the past four months.


FEMA is responding to four Presidential disasters that have been declared in South Dakota since March. 

 "I joke that you have a regular weather rodeo in this state, there's a little something for everybody," Nancy Casper with FEMA said.

FEMA has been in the state for four months responding to damage left behind by snowstorms, ice storms and spring flooding. Now, they may stick around even longer after this latest round of rain and severe storms. 

"There's a significant amount of damage in the state currently you have 51 of the 66 counties declared, that's about 78 percent of your state with additional counties may be being looked at for assessments and now declarations," Casper said.

And, the knee deep water in Charles Mix County is the latest natural disaster in the state after mother nature dumped more than six inches of rain on the area this week.

"Now of course you have recent events from this last week that increased the damage that already existed in the southeastern corner," Casper said.

And while the weather may have destroyed South Dakota property it hasn't destroyed South Dakota spirit.

"I'm amazed at the people here and the commitment to just kind of picking themselves up and keep going despite punch after punch after punch by mother nature," Casper said.

They came for problems that started in the winter, but FEMA officials say they'll stay until every disaster is taken care of.

"I want nothing more than to make sure every eligible dollar gets to every eligible applicant," Casper said.
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