FEMA begins storm assessment in southeast SD



     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have started assessing damage in Sioux Falls and the surrounding region from a three-day snow and ice storm last month.
 
     The effort could pave the way for federal aid to help with recovery. Gov. Dennis Daugaard ultimately will decide whether to request a presidential disaster declaration.
 
     The storm April 9-11 damaged and downed thousands of trees and also electrical lines, at one point cutting power to nearly 100,000 people.
 
     FEMA official Ron Pevan says cleanup cost estimates will focus on public areas such as streets and sidewalks, not on private property. City officials have said cleanup costs could approach $2.5 million.
 
     FEMA has been asked to visit six eastern South Dakota counties and one in the west that's home to the Pine Ridge Reservation.
 
     
 AP-WF-05-01-13 1244GMT
 

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