Pine Ridge denied FEMA assistance after severe weather damage

Vincent Schilling

SD hit with destructive high winds from a tornado and large hail that destroyed homes’ exteriors

As recently reported by NewsCenter1, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declined a request for federal assistance from the Oglala Sioux Tribe who reported severe weather that damaged homes and occurred in July of 2018.

In a letter sent to Oglala Sioux Tribe President Troy ‘Scott’ Weston, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said that their ‘request for a major disaster declaration for the Oglala Sioux tribe as a result of severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds during the period of July 27-29,” did not meet the criteria to receive federal aid.

“Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as toward supplemental federal disaster assistance under the Stafford Act,” Long wrote in the letter.

According to NewsCenter1 meteorologist Brant Beckman, the storm in July formed in Montana before racing southward into South Dakota, producing 80 mph wind gusts and dropping large hail in and around Oglala Lakota County later into the evening.

One resident of the area, Louella Broken Nose, told her experience during the dangerous storm of hail. "We couldn’t see anything, so we turned around and tried to make it home and we barely made it in here. We parked and sat in the car, and it was so scary, I was crying."

Other residents spoke of having to go to the hospital after injuries, power outages and vehicles disabled.

Tribal residents and families are working to repair the damages. Oglala Sioux Tribal authorities are encouraging those in need of assistance to call OST emergency management at (605) 867-5011.

NewsCenter1 posted a series of photos of the damage to the homes in the area.

The letter says the denial can be appealed within 30 days of Sept. 18.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling


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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

I find that unreasonably offensive! Our First People being fluffed off ! Shameful!