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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 1998
                        EXISTS IN SOUTH DAKOTA

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 floods, severe storms, and tornadoes. In a taped message to the people of McCook County, the President today said, "I was deeply saddened to learn of the devastating tornado that hit the town of Spencer, South Dakota. The destruction of Saturday's storm was swift and powerful, sparing few the agony of losing loved ones, homes, businesses and places of worship."

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the McCook County. Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures in McCook and Day Counties. In addition, Federal funding is available in Day County for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by flooding, severe storms, and tornadoes that began on April 25, 1998. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

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


Editor's Note: Sound from President Clinton on the disaster declaration is available on the White House Press Office Radio Actuality Line at 202/456-5671.