Riverwatch: State needs input by Friday on flood damage

Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that the state is opening a call center and providing an online survey form at its disaster recovery website to gather more flood-damage information from residents of 11 counties hardest-hit by flooding.

The action comes in the wake of FEMA’s denial of a state request for Individual Assistance programs to help citizens recover from flood damage. South Dakota has qualified for a federal disaster declaration to help pay costs of damage to public infrastructure but not for costs of damage to private homes.

To appeal FEMA’s denial of Individual Assistance, the state needs additional documentation of major damage to homes in the 11 counties, the governor said.

“We are opening the call center and online survey to capture new or additional information on flood damages,’’ Gov. Daugaard said. “We are asking everyone in the 11 counties to call or fill out the survey. Even if you reported damages the first time around, we encourage you to participate. We want to be absolutely certain our initial assessment did not miss any instances of major damage.’’

Damage information is being sought from residents of Charles Mix, Clay, Day, Hamlin, Hand, Hughes, Kingsbury, Lyman, Stanley, Union and Yankton.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program requires that the structure be a primary residence located in one of those 11 counties. By FEMA definition, major damage includes damage that would require 30 days or more to repair, collapsed basement walls and more than 18 inches of water on the main floor of a home. Water in a basement or damage that requires less than 30 days to repair are examples of damage that falls short of FEMA’s major-damage standard.

The call center will accept damage reports from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, through Friday, July 29. The number is 1-866-446-5324. An online survey form to report damage will operate continuously at http://www.disasterrecovery.sd.gov from Wednesday morning through midnight Sunday, July 31.


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