Flood waters cause more problems for Pine Ridge residents

Published: Mar. 24, 2019 at 9:39 PM CDT
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Dams on the reservation are holding up and doing their job, but emergency management teams are monitoring conditions. With melting snow and water from Nebraska the Oglala and White Clay dams could become unstable.

Some people are stuck in their homes as moving water on roads makes it impossible to get through certain areas. For those who are running low on food and water, volunteers on horseback will try to deliver some supplies.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem activated 13 members of the South Dakota Army National Guard to help distribute water. Soldiers from the Watertown-based Company A, 139th Brigade Support Battalion arrived Saturday to provide drinkable water. Water was dropped off in the communities of Red Shirt, Pine Ridge, Porcupine, Evergreen and Wounded Knee.

According to a release from the National Guard, soldiers will be providing water from a central location in each community until the waterline is restored. Residents should bring plastic bottles, containers or receptacles to receive water.

Soldiers also deployed five load handing system vehicles equipped with five compatible water tank racks, or “Hippos.” The Hippo can store and distribute up to 2,000 gallons of potable water per system.

People who need to see a doctor on a regular basis for dialysis or cancer treatment are being moved from their homes to a shelter to ensure they get to their appointments. There are nine shelters on the reservation and there is space in most of them if anyone needs shelter.

Donations and more volunteers are always welcome. Even when the flooding ends the recovery efforts will take time. Any assistance with the recovery effort that can be provided will allow crews to respond faster to fix roads and water damaged homes.

Donations can be taken to the Emergency Management Office in Pine Ridge.