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State government agencies provide storm assistance to South Dakota tribes

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Since last week’s winter storm (December 12-16, 2022), the South Dakota Department of Public Safety has provided direct assistance to South Dakota tribes.

“Our departments across the board, and the Emergency Management Agency in particular, have worked closely with the tribes to discuss their needs and resource demands resulting from this storm,” said DPS Cabinet Secretary Craig Price. “Partnerships with other agencies have allowed us to act quickly and deploy resources to support the tribes and their residents.”

The DPS provided the following services to the tribes:

  • Provide situational awareness and regular contact with OEM tribal emergency managers starting last week before the storm hits.
  • Regular communication between the Tribe and OEM with the Governor’s Office, SD Department of Tribal Relations (DTR), and FEMA.
  • Partnering with Oglala Sioux Tribe and Black Hills LifeFlight to transport critically ill dialysis patients to Rapid City.
  • In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SD Department of Health, SD Healthcare Coalition, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, we will bring care to more than 40 dialysis patients.
  • Coordinate the rescue of stranded drivers between Fusion Centers, OEMs, Highway Patrol, and the Department of Transportation.
  • Work with the South Dakota General Contractors Association to determine contractors that can work with local and tribal jurisdictions for snow removal.
  • Provision of SD Department of Transportation v-plow to reach critically ill patients on Pine Ridge Reservation.
  • Work with SD Department of Transportation to clear roads in Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservation.
  • An OEM field coordinator will be dispatched to the Rosebud Sioux Nation on Sunday, December 18 to meet with tribal leaders to further discuss needs and resource requests. When,
  • We will be sending two loaders/blowers to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to coordinate with the SD Department of Transportation to deliver propane, firewood and food to the community.

Other state agencies were also involved in supporting the tribes.

“In addition to clearing and maintaining interstates and state highways during this massive storm system, the South Dakota Department of Transportation will assist the Oglala Sioux and Rosebud Sioux with equipment and winter maintenance personnel. Transportation: “The coordination of available DOT personnel and equipment resources such as V-plows, tractors, blowers and loaders was organized by our area engineers.”

DTR Chief Cabinet Secretary David Flute said support and cooperation from all agencies was important. He said tribal officials such as Rosebud Sioux Tribal President Scott Herman appreciate the state’s efforts.

“The state, along with other areas of the state affected by this extreme weather, have made significant efforts to support our tribes through this winter storm,” said Secretary David Froot. “During this storm, I have been in touch with President Herman, listening to his concerns and relaying information from him.”

The Fusion Center, Emergency Management Agency, and Highway Patrol are all agencies of the Ministry of Public Security.

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