FEMA tours Union County, SD - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

FEMA tours Union County, SD


Flood waters have receded in Union County, South Dakota, but the devastation isn't over for dozens of homeowners.

Many of those dealing with the aftermath of mother nature are trying to figure out what their next step is.

Thursday, an individual assistance program specialist from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with local and state leaders, met with residents to assess damages.

FEMA's representative said they are assigning each damaged property to one of four categories, affected, minor, major, or destroyed.

"'Destroyed means', something like this home, I've just rated this home as destroyed. You can not habitate the home. It's going to have to be torn down or rebuilt. 'Major' is, you can't habitat the home, the damage is so severe that even if you had a contractor on site right now, it would take the contractor more than 30 days to make the home habitable. 'Minor' is less than 30 days, and 'affected' is usually cosmetic," Individual Assistance Program Specialist with FEMA Region 8 James Taylor said.

Doug Henry's home that has been declared as "destroyed" by FEMA was completely under water just a few days ago, and he is still being advised to stay out because it's too dangerous to be inside.

"When you can't get here to clean up anyway, you just feel at a standstill. It's just hard to work. It's hard to do anything right now," Henry said.

Those with FEMA said they're working with local volunteer agencies and will do the best they can for flood victims like Henry.

FEMA passes along all their information to South Dakota's Governor, who will then decide if he wants to make a request to the president for individual assistance.


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