Deadline For Federal Disaster Aid Jan. 31st

16 hours ago

Those who had property damage from the September tornadoes near Sioux Falls have until Friday to register for assistance.

The deadline to register for aid from FEMA is January 31st.

Mike Slater is an Extension Affairs specialist at FEMA. He said that people often don’t register for needed assistance and landowners begin repairs to their property without federal aid.

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Sixty-three of South Dakota’s 66 counties submitted disaster declarations after this year’s devastating blizzards, floods, and tornadoes. In Governor Kristi Noem’s budget address for fiscal year 2021, she outlines a plan to recover from this year’s disasters and mitigate future damages. 

The governor’s budget proposal includes a partnership between state and local governments to manage the high cost of this year’s natural disasters. The state already offers some assistance, but Noem says local governments have expressed concerns in the face of record-breaking damages.  


FEMA is awarding a $250,000 federal fund from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to the State of South Dakota.


The funds are used for non-disaster related emergencies, such as food shortages and rent and utility assistance programs.


The money is allocated by the state to Local Recipient Organizations, or LRO’s, which determine how the funds are dispersed to qualified agencies.



FEMA is continuing to help South Dakotans in the wake of extreme weather despite lowered demand for assistance compared to the beginning of the summer.

They’re also telling residents about precautions to take before another disaster of this magnitude strikes.

Pam Saulsby is a Media Relations Specialist for FEMA. She says having flood insurance is useful in all parts of the country.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... July 25, 2019 Show 623 Hour 1

Damage from winter storms and spring flooding has caused more than 1,000 South Dakotans to reach out for federal disaster relief. You can also call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or download the mobile app for your smart device.


FEMA is closing two disaster recovery centers in Sioux Falls and Yankton on Saturday evening due to a decline in people needing assistance.

Those in the area still in need of aid can request help after Saturday either online or over the phone.

Pam Saulsby is a Media Relations Specialist for FEMA. She says she’s happy so many people get the opportunity to seek aid face-to-face at a recovery center.

Nick Nelson

FEMA is touring communities in southeastern South Dakota to help those affected by the spring flooding get assistance. A mobile disaster relief center is being set up in Bon Homme county this week. 

FEMA has been getting the word out about the mobile disaster relief centers being set up in communities affected by this year’s extreme weather.

Most recently, they’ve opened one of these centers in at the Tabor Fire Station in Bon Homme County.

FEMA workers have also been going door-to-door to let people know that they can sign up for assistance.

One Year Of Pine Ridge Disaster Recovery

Aug 8, 2016

The Pine Ridge reservation now has over 200 new or repaired homes following a disaster that struck in the spring of 2015. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and tribal officials are marking one year of recovery following a unique Presidential Disaster Declaration.

President Obama’s Individual Assistance declaration to Pine Ridge was the first ever made directly to a tribal nation. FEMA then initiated the first permanent housing construction program in the continental United States. FEMA also provided additional direct financial aid to the community.

FEMA Places Last Of Pine Ridge Homes

Jun 28, 2016
Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

Last year, the Pine Ridge Reservation was hit with a series of severe storms that damaged nearly 200 homes beyond repair. FEMA stepped in to provide housing assistance. This week, the last of the damaged homes are being replaced.

Brian Hvinden is with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He says the three bedroom, manufactured homes are permanent living spaces instead of makeshift shelters like other FEMA projects. Hvinden adds that the housing helps not only families but other groups.

Eastern SD Getting Wetter Over Past 65 Years

Dec 16, 2015
Jim Holbeck

Is your old cornfield a new bass pond?  There are now parts of eastern South Dakota where the fishing is better than the farming.

A new study by the United States Geological Survey shows a trend towards a wetter climate east of the Missouri River over the last six and a half decades.  Stream gages along waterways like the James and Big Sioux Rivers show a general pattern of increased rains and river flows since 1948. Researchers say they hope this data can be used by ag producers, land managers, and emergency management personnel as they plan for the future.


FEMA Housing Lands On Pine Ridge Following Disaster

Dec 9, 2015
Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is placing new mobile homes on Pine Ridge following spring  storms and flooding that destroyed and damaged buildings in Oglala Lakota County.

The storms made the already severe housing shortage on Pine Ridge worse.

On Wednesday, December 9th FEMA is opening the doors on one of the first mobile homes to be replaced following the disaster declaration.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Storms in mid-June ripped across South Dakota. A tornado, 95-mile-per-hour winds, baseball-sized hail, and heavy rains knocked down power lines, slammed trees and branches to the ground, and washed out roads and bridges.

The severe weather cause nearly $3 million in damage to public property. Jason Bauder with South Dakota’s Office of Emergency Management says the federal government is covering some of the repair costs.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The official floodplain in Sioux Falls is shrinking. That’s because a project to update levees in the city is complete, so FEMA officials are changing flood maps. Five years ago city leaders advanced the federal government millions of local tax dollars to accelerate the project. Since then, federal officials have reimbursed the city, and the project is a split among local, state, and federal money.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The federal government is directing $250,000 to South Dakota to help people with food or shelter in emergencies. That is the same amount the state usually receives from FEMA. The grant money can be used for problems housing and food problems that aren’t related to disasters.

FEMA distributes Emergency Food and Shelter Program money based on a state’s current unemployment, food insecurity and poverty data. In South Dakota, that equates to the minimum amount FEMA can provide a state.

Preparing for Disasters and Emergencies

Sep 8, 2014
Charles Michael Ray

September is National Preparedness Month and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages everyone to be ready for disasters and emergencies. On September 30 people are also encouraged to participate in America’s PrepareAthon, a national day of action. Daniel Nyquist, community preparedness officer for the FEMA Region 8 office in Denver, joined Dakota Midday and discussed steps to take to be ready for local risks and hazards.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The government says homeowners in South Dakota impacted by June’s severe weather don’t qualify for federal assistance. FEMA officials say the storms didn’t cause enough damage for individuals to receive emergency aid.

More than one dozen tornadoes spawned in Jerauld County in June; one of those hit Wessington Springs, destroying and damaging homes and businesses.
People in Lincoln and Union counties experienced flash flooding that inundated houses.

Farm Bill Pays Out After SD Disasters

Jun 27, 2014
Kealey Bultena file photo

Disaster assistance through the USDA is now pouring into South Dakota following the enactment of the latest Farm Bill.

In the last 10 weeks the USDA has paid out $96-million dollars to farmers and ranchers following the 2012 drought and 2013 October blizzard.

Craig Schaunaman is the Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency in South Dakota.  He says the large numbers aren’t a surprise,  given the extent of both the drought and blizzard.   He says more federal assistance is on the way.  

The October Atlas blizzard wreaked havoc on Western South Dakota.  The significant amounts of snow, ice, wind, and frigid temperatures cost Rapid City an estimated 3.1 million dollars in clean-up costs. Although FEMA is pitching in on those costs - that federal assistance covers less than half the bill.

The Atlas blizzard left parts of the Black Hills immobilized for days. Downed power lines and trees lined many streets and City officials and residents were left with large amounts of debris to clean-up after the storm finally blew through.

FEMA Map Updates Flood Insurance Requirements

May 13, 2013

On June 3rd many Rapid City residents and businesses may suddenly find themselves under a mandatory flood insurance requirement.

FEMA redrew the flood boundaries around the Rapid Creek watershed.

The move caused about 800 buildings in Rapid City to see a change in designation – it may require many residents and businesses to buy into the National Flood Insurance Program.  

Not Too Late to File on Additional Damages of 2011 Flood

Oct 10, 2012

In the middle of the current drought it might be hard to remember that last year South Dakota dealt with record flooding.

The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management is reminding residents that it’s not too late to file an additional claim on any residual damages that occurred from the flood.

Residual or longer term flood damages include basement foundations cracking, or structures that shifted in the months after the high water subsided.