Hughes County Meets Damage Threshold For Disaster Assistance From Blizzards And Flooding

(KCCR) — Hughes County was included in a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration made by Governor Kristi Noem this week. Hughes/Stanley County Emergency Manager Rob Fines says the process began shortly after storms in April…

“The Highway Department went out and surveyed all the roads; they came up with damage of roads that were washed out, culverts were washed out and…and we put together a list of those and the damages and what the costs would be to fix those.  We also did that; the City of Blunt had quite a bit of damage too and expenses so they went and did the same thing and we submitted it as a package to the state to see if we were eligible for it and we did meet the…the criteria.  We had to have at least, I believe it was 63 or 64-thousand dollars worth of damage and we exceeded that by quite a bit.”
Damage is estimated in Hughes County of at least 100-thousand dollars.  Fines says damage assessors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not visit Hughes and Stanley County while in South Dakota. He adds that Stanley County also met the thresholds for damage, but because many of the affected roads are federal roads, they are not eligible for reimbursement. Fines says the most recent rains, which are causing some minor flooding is just a repeat of earlier this spring…

“As far as roads go, we’ve got some again that, you know;…the water’s over ’em.  It’s just kind of a repeat, like I said, of this spring.  You gotta be careful of where you drive.  They’re soft, they’ve really never been able to be firmed up and graded the way they need to be because crews are so busy trying to catch up from this spring, but they’re working on it and just ask you to be careful when your out on the roads.”

While the U-S Army Corps of Engineers is slowly increasing releases from the Oahe Dam to deal with the most recent rain vent, Fines says he’s not concerned about flooding from the Missouri River.