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Operation Timber Strike Officially Over

December 4, 2013, 4:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Operation Timber Strike Officially Over
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

It is a moment of celebration for Sioux Falls City officials and anyone who helped pick up a branch or plant a tree.  Operation Timber Strike is officially over.

City officials knew that the recovery effort would come at a price.

"In spite of the fact that, you know, you're trying to make things happen quickly and things like that, we did follow procedures and received a lot of good guidance from the State and Federal Emergency Management Agency as far as contracting," Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith said.

The final pricetag of the cleanup comes to the tune of just over $8 million. It's a bill the City was ready to take on, but fortunately, financial aid is coming our way.

"We thought it would be anywhere from $5 million to $6 million impact to the City budget, but then the event escalated and got up to that $8 million mark. But, obviously, getting that share and getting that partnership from the state and federal government helped out the city budget," Smith said.

In the end, the City's general fund will take a $1 million hit, the cost of paying worker overtime. That's a significantly easier pill to swallow thanks, in large part, to the work of Sioux Falls residents.

"People brought a lot of debris from their yard from the public right-of-way to these sites so we didn't have to pick those up. We didn't have to trim those branches. So, the citizens definitely helped out here, too, they helped out themselves, their neighbors and, ultimately, the City of Sioux Falls," Smith said.

The ice storm also allowed for a thorough review of the city's disaster response efforts, further preparing Sioux Falls for any future events.

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