05.22.19

South Dakota Delegation Supports Governor Noem’s Request for Disaster Declaration Following Late-Winter Storms

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today sent a letter to President Trump in support of Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R-S.D.) request for a major disaster declaration in South Dakota following severe late-winter storms, high winds, heavy rain, and flooding that began on March 13, 2019.

 

“The widespread damage from storms this spring is evident in areas across our state, including the 58 counties and four Indian Reservations identified in the governor’s disaster declaration request,” the delegation wrote. “The storms damaged our roads, bridges, and culverts, while also impacting livestock, homes, and businesses.  Rural roads, many of which are gravel and highly vulnerable to water damage, form critical infrastructure for our farmers and ranchers whose work forms the backbone of the South Dakota economy.”

 

Full text of the letter below.

 

The Honorable Donald Trump

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20500

 

Dear President Trump:

 

As members of the South Dakota congressional delegation, we write in strong support of Governor Kristi Noem’s request for a major disaster declaration for our state.  This declaration would greatly assist in South Dakota’s recovery from severe winter storms, high winds, heavy rain, and flooding that began on March 13, 2019.  

 

The widespread damage from storms this spring is evident in areas across our state, including the 58 counties and four Indian Reservations identified in the governor’s disaster declaration request.  The storms damaged our roads, bridges, and culverts, while also impacting livestock, homes, and businesses.  Rural roads, many of which are gravel and highly vulnerable to water damage, form critical infrastructure for our farmers and ranchers whose work forms the backbone of the South Dakota economy. 

 

As Governor Noem’s disaster declaration request indicates, state and local officials responded to the storms using resources immediately available to them.  These emergency operations activities reduced the impact and accelerated the state’s recovery.  Nevertheless, the preliminary damage assessment completed by the state in coordination with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials makes clear the scale of the storms’ impact exceeds the state’s response capacity and therefore justifies federal assistance as specified in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act.

 

In light of these considerations, we respectfully request you declare a major disaster for relevant areas of our state and instruct federal agencies to expedite the delivery of all forms of federal disaster assistance for which South Dakota is eligible based upon that declaration.  We would be pleased to offer any assistance you may require in fulfilling this request.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.  Please do not hesitate to contact any of us if we can provide you with additional information.

  

Sincerely,

 

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