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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 17, 2001

Statement by the Press Secretary

The  President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of South Dakota  and  ordered  Federal  aid  to  supplement state and local recovery efforts  in the area struck by severe winter storms, flooding, and ice jams on March 1, 2001, through April 30, 2001.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to local governments in  an  11  county  area.  The  counties  include Beadle, Brookings, Clark, Codington, Grant, Hamlin, Kingsbury, Mellette, Roberts, Sanborn, and Spink.

Federal   funding   is   available  to  eligible  local  governments  on  a cost-sharing  basis  for  the  repair  or  replacement of public facilities damaged  by  the  severe  winter  storms,  flooding, and ice jams.  Federal funding  is  also  available  on  a  cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Joe  M.  Allbaugh,  Director  of  the  Federal  Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),  named  Gracia  Szczech  as  the  Federal  Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The  Agency  said  that  damage  surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional  assistance  and counties may be added after the assessments are completed.



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