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Gov. Daugaard Seeks SBA Help for Flooding, Tornado Victims

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO-AM)  – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today asked the Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster assistance to help South Dakotans recover from damages caused by flooding and tornadoes during a series of June storms.

The Governor made the request to the SBA after receiving word late Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has rejected the state’s request for Individual Assistance programs for damage to homes and businesses. 

If approved, SBA disaster assistance would provide low-interest loans to help owners of homes and businesses recover from the storm damage. 

The State is asking that Jerauld and Lincoln counties be designated primary disaster counties. The SBA program also provides assistance to counties contiguous to the primary counties. In South Dakota’s case, that would include Buffalo, Hand, Beadle, Sanborn, Aurora, Brule, Minnehaha, Turner, Clay and Union counties. 

The State of Iowa recently received an SBA disaster declaration for Lyon and Sioux Counties. Because of the contiguous counties’ provision, residents of Minnehaha, Lincoln and Union counties who suffered storm damage are eligible now to seek low-interest loans through the Iowa declaration. That won’t affect their ability to seek loans if South Dakota’s request is approved. 

By seeking SBA disaster status, the State is forgoing a possible appeal of FEMA’s denial of Individual Assistance. Gov. Daugaard said since the state was turned down for that program on its original request, an appeal would have required additional new damage. He said it was disappointing but not a surprise to be turned down. 

Meanwhile, on Monday, July 14, teams of state, federal and local representatives will begin a preliminary assessment of damages to public property in 12 counties and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Those assessments are expected to take three days. Damages documented in the assessments will be provided to the Governor to support a possible request to FEMA for the Public Assistance Program. That program is separate from Individual Assistance and would provide federal funding for eligible damages to roads, bridges, culverts and other public infrastructure.

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