Noem requests disaster declaration for June tornado, storm damage

Annie Todd
Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Gov. Kristi Noem has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for six counties that sustained damage during severe weather in mid-June, according to a press release from her office Thursday.

The damage — a combination of a tornado, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and hail — impacted Butte, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, McPherson and Spink Counties, according to the release.

An initial damage assessment put together by FEMA estimates there was over $1.6 million of public infrastructure damage, according to the release.

More:NWS has already issued highest number of thunderstorm warnings for South Dakota in single year

“All six counties in this request are rural and have a low population base, which limits the local government’s ability to financially recover from disasters,” wrote Gov. Noem. “Without assistance, costs incurred by the rural electric cooperatives because of these damages will be passed on to families who are already suffering from their losses, many of whom are lower income.”

Jones County recorded its first tornado since 1999 during the June storm, Noem also wrote. There was also grapefruit-sized hail and heavy rain that led to flooding in the county. More than 6,000 residents experienced power outages and were without power for up to four days.

President Biden approved a Presidential Disaster Declaration in June for 20 counties in eastern South Dakota impacted by severe weather in mid-May

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