South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem late Thursday declared an emergency to respond to the winter storm and activated the state’s National Guard to haul firewood from the Black Hills Forest Service to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
Rosebud Sioux Tribe emergency manager Robert Oliver said Thursday that tribal authorities have been working to clear roads to deliver propane and firewood to homes, but face a relentless wind that has created drifts over 10 feet in some places. The tribe has requested assistance and Noem’s office said it has been working with other tribal governments, as well as local officials across the state, to respond to the frigid temperatures and blizzard-like conditions.
‘Under the direction of the Office of Emergency Management, we will continue to help all of South Dakota’s communities get through these storms, together,’ Noem said in a statement.
Noem said other National Guard missions might be necessary as the state’s emergency management office coordinates with tribal and local governments.