FEMA Officials Staying Busy In South Dakota With Multiple Disaster Declarations

(WNAX) — Multiple rounds of disasters have kept the Federal Emergency Management Agency active in South Dakota for many months. FEMA spokesman Phil Wernisch says they have a long list of disaster assistance requests…

“We’re still working through that process from the spring floods. We had nearly 700 individual government entities that we’re working with from that so that’s quite a, quite a lift to try and get through all those, but we’re working through that as quickly as possible so that we can get reimbursements made so that those governments can get some of that money back to them. FEMA will, will pay 75% of the eligible costs on those projects and the state does additional cost share of 10%.”

Wernisch says there is no set time for those local governments and agencies to get payments…

“Each applicant, the time line for being reimbursed is gonna be unique on…based on how quickly they can get the damages provided to us and we can get the projects written up and then submitted for an eligibility review and then once that happens, and the…the grants are approved and FEMA pays the 75% federal cost share; we provide that to the state of South Dakota.”

Wernisch says they are also working on the latest round of disaster requests…

“Just received what will be the, be the fourth request for a disaster declaration from Governor Noem. She put that in on Friday so that’s being reviewed right now at our Denver regional office for FEMA then that will go to our FEMA headquarters for a final decision so we’d expect to hear a decision on that fairly quickly.”

Wernisch says they have about two hundred eighty FEMA staffers still working in the state.