Folks in East River are saying thank goodness for government this weekend, as socialist Governor Kristi Noem has deployed state resources to help residents clear the debris from Thursday’s 100-mph-wind storm, a task beyond the capacity of individuals, charity, and the free market:
National Guard soldiers are helping with cleanup of debris, traffic control, security and other duties plus equipment to the communities of Castlewood, Madison and Ramona. The soldiers are from the 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion, 211th Engineer Company and Task Force 153 in Huron. A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is also being used in the response.
South Dakota Wildland Fire has sent a team of firefighters and equipment to help with storm cleanup at Lake Herman near Madison. All the firefighters are certified chainsaw operators with years of experience cutting trees and clearing bush [staff, “State Agencies Provide Storm Assistance,” KJAM, 2022.05.13].
Sioux Valley Energy reports 4,000 customers are still without power this morning due to at least 70 broken power-line poles and “a lot of damage to other electrical equipment.” The City of Madison says power in town is fully restored by they only have one substation running and can’t handle industrial load today.
Government has Castlewood on lockdown, and I haven’t heard any trucker convoys forming to protest this abridgment of their freedom to drive wherever they want:
The only entrance into Castlewood is near Cat’s Corner Convenience on the north side of town along state Highway 22, according to the city’s Facebook page. Entry to town is not allowed via any other route, and people trying to get to Castlewood have to check in.
Those with equipment to help with cleanup effort will be give an equipment card at the check-in point. They are then required to go to the city hall community center to finish checking in.
Castlewood Mayor Brian Ries said that while the streets in the town are generally safe, visitors are not allowed unless they helping with the storm response [Elisa Sand, Kerry Kulkarni, and Alexandra Hardle, “Cleanup Efforts Start in Castlewood and Beyond After Devastating Tornado, Storms,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2022.05.13].
The private sector isn’t idle in responding to this disaster. The Salvation Army sent its spaghetti truck to Castlewood yesterday, and the city was taking and giving food donations at the community center.
But remember: when things get rough, South Dakotans need government to dig them out of the mess.