Meade County passes disaster declaration due to ‘extreme damage’ following severe weather
MEADE COUNTY, S.D. — The Meade County Commission passed a resolution to declare a disaster within its boundaries on Tuesday.
The declaration is “due to extreme damage” to roadways and infrastructure resulting from severe weather beginning on March 13 that’s continued through recent days. Meade County officials say local resources aren’t adequate enough to cope with the situation.
Meade County Emergency Director Doug Huntrods says the move is a first step in seeking federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The Meade County Commission’s passing of a County Disaster Declaration at Tuesday’s meeting is the first step in seeking federal assistance to mitigate damage to the roads and infrastructure of Meade County resulting from recent rains,” said Huntrods.
The total cost of damages must exceed the county’s $96,140.02 threshold in order to qualify for federal disaster assistance. Officials are still working on damage assessments, but believe that the threshold will be exceeded — although they’re not sure by how much.
“Meade County is reaching out to our township and municipal partners and providing assistance from our highway department to assess and document damages,” said Huntrods. “That information will be relayed to the state for a determination regarding reaching the federally mandated cost threshold for FEMA disaster assistance. Meade County’s threshold is $96,140.02, which highway department officials believe will be readily met by the damages they have observed so far.”
Meade County was not originally listed as one of the counties Gov. Noem included in her Presidential Disaster Declaration request, which she officially made on May 22.
If the state determines a Presidential Disaster Declaration should be requested for Meade County, Gov. Noem will petition President Trump to include Meade County as an emergency disaster area.
If that’s approved, FEMA will grant funds to the state to help rebuild infrastructure and facilities to pre-disaster condition.