FEMA Assesses Flood Damage at Lake Poinsett

LAKE POINSETT, S.D.- FEMA officials are finally getting a chance to assess water damage in the Lake Poinsett area. It comes after high winds and waters have backed off in recent weeks. Now that help could be on the way, many are looking to the future with a little more hope.

The waves on Lake Poinsett have calmed down compared to a couple weeks ago, but they’ve left a mess for residents who live along the lake. Extra sand and debris are piled up in front of houses like the Nofziger’s.

“Well, we had winds of 50 miles an hour and it just brought everything right up. So we got the blunt end of it,” said Judith Nofziger

Not to mention flooding.

“We’ve stayed away a couple nights. When there’s water on the floor, you don’t want to be in the house,” said Nofziger.

Now that water levels have gone down, FEMA is in town to get a better look at the damage.

“We want to make sure that where people are living is safe and secure, so if any flood waters have kind of entered into that main floor where people live, living room, bedroom spaces, kitchens, bathrooms,” said April Lipinski, Preliminary Damage Assessment Coordinator.

Although there are many vacation homes in this area FEMA will be focusing on primary or residential homes.

“Focusing on the habitability and well-being and safety of families. So if it’s a secondary home they have another home they can live in while the other home is repaired,” said Lipinski.

FEMA officials will also be in Brookings, Kingsbury, Hamlin and Turner counties this week touring damaged areas similar to the Nofziger’s.

As far as next steps go, there’s nothing residents can do right now, but wait. Once all the data is collected, FEMA will hand it over to the state and the state will decide if they want to pursue a disaster declaration for these counties. For those who live in Brookings, Kingsbury, Hamlin or Turner County, you’re asked to check with local emergency management about questions you might have.


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