White House approves South Dakota Presidential Disaster Declaration for June storms

Dominik Dausch
Farm Forum

South Dakota will receive more help from the federal government after severe weather wreaked havoc across six counties in June.

The Biden Administration approved South Dakota's request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Tuesday, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist counties impacted by a severe storm that brought a tornado, straight-line winds, flooding and hail between June 11-14, according to a White House press release.

MoreHow much in damages did the May 12 derecho, Memorial Day storms cost Sioux Falls?

The release states Butte, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, McPherson and Spink Counties are eligible for FEMA assistance. Gov. Kristi Noem, who made the original request in July, wrote a preliminary damage assessment conducted by FEMA reported the affected counties suffered more than $1.6 million in storm damage to public infrastructure.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Noem wrote the storm resulted in a tornado in Jones County, the first in that county since 1999; straight-line winds of more than 100 miles per hour; golf ball to grapefruit-sized hail; and heavy rains that led to flooding.

More than 6,000 customers experienced power outages, and many customers were without power for up to four days.

In late June, the White House approved a separate disaster declaration for the state after a derecho and flooding damaged buildings in 20 counties and two reservations on May 12.

Dominik Dausch is the agriculture and environment reporter for the Argus Leader and editor of Farm Forum. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @DomDNP and send news tips to ddausch@gannett.com.