Derecho caused more than $900,000 in storm damages to Minnehaha County

Storm damages in Minnehaha County following the May 12th derecho that swept through southeastern South Dakota currently stand at more than $900,000.

Those damages cover public infrastructure and government entities, not individual assistance, said Jason Gearman, the county's director of emergency management, in an interview Friday with the Argus Leader.

Gearman informed Minnehaha County Commission at their weekly meeting Tuesday that the county had not yet met the roughly $800,000 threshold to qualify for federal funds through FEMA.

More: Minnehaha County declared 'disaster area' following May 12 derecho; officials seek federal aid

Live power lines and electricity poles fall into the street on Augustana University's campus on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Sioux Falls.

The vast majority of the damages were power lines, stated the emergency management director.

Most of the assessed impact was within the City of Sioux Falls, cooperative electric companies and cities within the rural parts of Minnehaha County. That includes tree debris cleanup, personnel hours and equipment hours.

"The cooperative electric companies had some major damages," said Gearman.

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FEMA, the state and South Dakota Emergency Management are expected to come within the next couple weeks to assess those damages, and in other counties like McCook and Lake counties.

"It tends to be rare with these damages to get individual assistance, but it gets us closer to possible individual assistance," he said.

Email human rights reporter Nicole Ki at or follow on Twitter at @_nicoleki.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Here's how much damage the May 12 derecho caused in Minnehaha County