SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the damage from the May 12 storms, Gov. Kristi Noem announced today.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help 20 counties and two reservations recover from public infrastructure damage. The declaration covers only damage to public property.
The counties and reservations that are covered are: Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Clay, Codington, Day, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, and Turner as well as the Flandreau Indian and Lake Traverse Reservations.
FEMA will be in the state soon to help local and tribal governments and some non-profit organization, according to the news release.
Noem said in her request for a disaster declaration the May 12 storms produced a preliminary number of 14 reported tornadoes, and wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour in some places. The storms also resulted in the temporary closure of roads and highways. Nearly 70,000 customers experienced power outages.
The Storm Prediction Center has the 59 preliminary high wind reports of 75 mph and more. The SPC described it as “the day with the 2nd most preliminary hurricane-force wind gusts since at least 2004.”