Waiting for FEMA, County Does Quick Fix

Monday night Congress reached a deal to fund the federal government through November and provide additional money for FEMA.
If Congress didn’t reach an agreement before the end of the week FEMA was at risk of running out of money in the next few days because of all the disasters that have hit the country this year.

FEMA has been conserving money for the past month by delaying payments for more than 150 flood-recovery projects in South Dakota because the disaster relief fund was running low.

Because of the uncertainty local townships in Moody County have taken matters into their own hands to fix up flood-damaged roads for the fall harvest while they wait for the federal government to figure out its funding.

“Miles equals money, so you might as well get it done quick and save your time because time is money,” farmer Nathan Weiland said.

Weiland is using the rural roads in Moody County to get to his fields this fall.

Moody County is one of the many counties across South Dakota that have been waiting on funding from FEMA while Congress grappled with the issue of replenishing the agency’s disaster account with billions of dollars.

The county is waiting on nearly $57,000 from FEMA to pay for repairs to roads that were damaged by spring flooding. However, emergency officials say several townships in the county have either borrowed money or made temporary road repairs to fix up their roads while they wait for money.

It’s something Weiland is grateful for.

“It sure makes things a lot easier without going around closed roads, or detours, or washed out bridges, or culverts and things like that.  So yeah, it’s a big deal,” Weiland said.

Local officials hope the money will come in soon so it won’t hamper the disaster response in South Dakota even more.

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