Henry Red Cloud wades through floodwaters on his property on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D., on March 22, 2019. Photo: Kristina Barker/The New York Times/Redux.
The heavy winter snowfall, fast spring melt and heavy rainstorms are causing severe flooding on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, along the Missouri River, and Big Sioux River in southeastern South Dakota from Brookings, South Dakota, southward. Other areas may emerge as the thaw continues, particularly in the Red River Valley which flows north to Canada through Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota.
“Our most urgent concern, however, is to assist the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation tribal government respond to the devastating flooding on the reservation,” writes Bishop Bruce R. Ough, resident bishop for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, in a request for a emergency grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). “The reservation has limited infrastructure and financial resources to respond to the critical needs for safe drinking water, relief and clean-up supplies and case work.”
UMCOR has issued a $10,000 emergency grant to be directed to assist in meeting the needs at Pine Ridge.
“I’m sorry to learn of the hardships caused by flooding in your area but encouraged by the rapid response of the people called United Methodist,” says Cathy Earl, UMCOR director of disaster response in the United States.
If you would like to respond directly in the Pine Ridge area contact Maretta Champagne at 605-867-5007. Emergency Management in the Pine Ridge area, 605- 867-5011, is the main distribution center for donations. It is located one block west of the Big Bats gas station in Pine Ridge, South Dakota just off of Highway 18. Maretta said the families would appreciate flood buckets. Forty-two (42) homes are currently in need of clean up and repair. The biggest needs, according to Maretta are: UTVs (ATVs that can be used in deep mud) and UTV carts, first aid kits with bandaids, tweezers, bandages, etc., wading boots for men and women, water, and food. Shelters have been set up for displaced families.
We invite you to respond to flooding across the Dakotas, through monetary gifts and flood buckets. Monetary donations can be sent to the Conference office, noted for Disaster response. Get the details here.