SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Federal disaster assistance is available to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe following the approval of major disaster declarations by President Biden.

The announcement came in a Tuesday morning release by FEMA, which noted the assistance would be used to supplement tribal recovery efforts in areas affected by the severe winter storms in December 2022.

These storms saw many communities buried under feet of snow, with pipes frozen, roads closed and fuel and food running low.

During the storm, KELOLAND News spoke with residents of the affected areas, including families who were trapped in their home for days, and who took extreme measures to get supplies.

In the midst of the storm, efforts were undertaken by businesses and non-profits to get necessary supplies to those affected by the storm, including propane and food.

On December 22, 10 days after the first storm hit the region, Gov. Kristi Noem declared a winter storm emergency, also activating the National Guard to haul firewood from the Black Hills to the reservations.

In January 2023, South Dakota lawmakers requested Biden’s approval of a disaster declaration for the Rosebud Sioux and Oglala Sioux Tribes, at which point the federal government was reviewing the request.

On Feb. 10, 2023, Noem issued an executive order, declaring a disaster in 16 counties impacted by the December storms.

Alana B. Kuhn has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal operations in both areas. This assistance is provided under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.