SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The May 12 derecho damage to property in Minnehaha County may not reach the threshold for a disaster but the county wants to be ready, said Jason Gearman, the county’s emergency management director.
The county commission will consider a disaster declaration at tomorrow’s regular meeting.
If approved, the disaster declaration does not automatically mean there was a disaster in the county, Gearman said.
The county declaration is needed to help ensure that if the state and federal governments declare, or are asked to declare, disaster-qualified entities can receive disaster funding, he said.
But, the county must meet a damage dollar amount in order to qualify for disaster aid.
The damage total must meet the amount of $4.10 per capita in the county, he said.
“This is the first step in a long process,” Gearman said. The county’s action would apply to city owned or similarly-owned public buildings, utilities, and similar property.
Gearman said the county has until Friday, May 27, to declare a disaster.
The county is tallying the damage costs for public utilities such as East River and for damage to public facilities such as power lines and buildings in townships and cities in the county, Gearman said.
As of May 23, the early estimated total for damage to the publicly-owned property is about $450,000. “That is a very rough estimate,” Gearman said.
That’s less than the needed $800,000, he said.
Residents with May 12 damage should call the 211 Helpline to report the damage, Gearman said.