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South Dakota Soldiers Respond to Flood

More than 120 Guard troops help build levees to control rising water levels in the southeast area of the state
Guard vehicles and other support equipment are among the assets being used to address rising water levels along the Big Sioux River. Photo from South Dakota National Guard
Guard vehicles and other support equipment are among the assets being used to address rising water levels along the Big Sioux River. Photo from South Dakota National Guard

RAPID CITY, SD Gov. Dennis Daugaard activated more than 120 Soldiers from the South Dakota National Guard on June 18 to assist the state in flood response operations in the southeast region of the state. 

The Soldiers were assigned to assist state and local emergency management officials in response to the rise in water levels along the Big Sioux River.

The Guard has been moving personnel, dump trucks and support equipment to Union County to assist with levee construction. If required, the Guard might also help with rescue and evacuation, sandbagging, and traffic control missions.

Daugaard declared a state of emergency and opened the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) early on June 17. The EOC has been working with South Dakota Guard officials to coordinate appropriate levels of response.

“The South Dakota National Guard is always willing to support our state in response to emergencies such as this,” says Major General Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the South Dakota Guard. “In fact, it’s one of the missions we’re most proud of.”

Guard personnel responded to flooding in the Pierre/Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes areas during the summer of 2011, with more than 1,900 Soldiers and Airmen providing personnel and resources for filling, transporting and distributing sandbags, assisting with levee construction, providing security and operating traffic control points, and helping stranded citizens.