U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today pledged his continued support for communities affected by Missouri River flooding as he viewed water damage in Dakota Dunes, Union County, and Clay County and met with local leaders regarding flood conditions in southeast South Dakota. Johnson has been working closely with federal, state and local officials over the last few months to help the state respond to this historic disaster.
“We are making progress in recovering from this emergency but we still have a ways to go,” Johnson said. “Growing up in this part of the state, I know it very well but have never seen this amount of flooding. Everyone along the Missouri River has put in a tremendous effort to fight this flood and I am committed to doing all I can from the federal level to help our state come out of this stronger.”
Johnson is part of a bipartisan working group of Senators from Missouri River states. The group has discussed river management and called for oversight hearings to ensure that lessons from this year are applied to future management.
“We have seen record amounts of runoff this year from snowmelt and rain,” Johnson said. “Even though it is unlikely we will see this much flooding again soon, we can’t be caught off guard.”
Johnson was joined in Dakota Dunes by Jeff Dooley, Dakota Dunes Community Improvement District Manager, and Ken Beaulieu, Chairman of the Dakota Dunes Community Improvement District Board of Supervisors.
Joining Johnson in Vermillion were Leo Powell, Clay County Commission Chairman; Layne Stewart, Clay County Emergency Management Director; Raymond Roggow, Union County Emergency Management Director; Dave Becker, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operations Project Manager, Gavins Point Project and Colleen McNeese, FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer.
Today’s tours were part of a series of events Johnson is holding across South Dakota during the Congressional District Work Period. Johnson is scheduled to visit many communities, including Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Howard, Pierre, Ft. Pierre, Huron and Cheyenne River.