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Governor Addresses Common Questions After Touring State Flood and Storm Damage

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem took to Facebook Live to address what she says were the most common questions she heard while touring recent storm and flood damage.

During her remarks on Tuesday night, Noem touched on use of the National Guard. She says the Guard is called when no other solutions are possible, and other resources like DOT trucks and inmate labor are often more affordable.

She adds some have asked about a special legislative session. Noem does not think that is necessary.

“There is no doubt that we will have tough discussions and decisions about our budget come January, but I don’t see the need for any new legislation that would require a special session today. If that changes, I will be the first person to notify the public and the legislature.”

Noem also called the closing of Interstate-90 from flood waters “unprecedented.” She’s calling on the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to work with state engineers to ensure interstates never again close from flooding.

“Our population is too spread out, and when we lose the ability to travel on interstates and major highways due to flooding, we are compounding the disaster. In the era of big data, we can and we must be able to plan for the worst-case scenarios.”

So far this year South Dakota has received one federal disaster declaration and has three more still pending.

Noem anticipates the damage from this month’s flooding will warrant yet another federal disaster declaration.