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Government Vital to Disaster Response

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.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-05-14 08:22

    Yes, this is how Republicans who preach small gubmint fund crumbling infrastructure in red states. Recall Mrs. Noem repeatedly voted against disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy and other climate related catastrophes. She doesn’t respect self-reliance because she’s wedded to moral hazard.

  2. grandma 2022-05-14 09:56

    Yes, Madison had major damage. We have many trees on our properties in town and lots of roof (shingle) damage. I was surprised and
    also glad to see the Nome here and sending help. That’s a plus for her. The front of this system came over the lake and I did call 911
    and said turn on the sirens now. It’s bad. None of my renters heard the sirens. They didn’t go off. That’s not a good thing at all. Problems
    with the power going off first and generators for them not working and they don’t blow them unless it’s a tornado. That’s totally wrong. I
    think they had the same problems in SF. Not a tornado. Well, that’s close enough to blow the sirens. We had one of these storms
    in the 60’s. They called them hurricane winds – 120 mph. Anything with sirens drove through the town to alarm people. Hopefully,
    this won’t happen again and we are all safe here this time. That one lasted for a few hours. But-thank you to all those that have helped. Our
    power is back on after 24 hours-Sioux Valley Electric. Don’t wait for sirens during a tough storm. The sky and air was pure and simple black and
    couldn’t see a thing right in front of homes here. Just a little info. Hope I didn’t bore you but stay safe.

  3. leslie 2022-05-14 09:57

    This is global warming. Number one election issue. 20 countries contain 80% of the solution. The US and the next 19 highest emitters.

    John Kerry: “… last November in Glasgow …

    Almost 200 nations came together and took unprecedented steps in the cause of the climate battle. They resolved to pursue efforts to limit the earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – and agreed that would require reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 45% by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. If we don’t, not only do we blow through that 1.5 degree limit, but we likely will not avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.

    Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. I come here now because these [coming] months are filled with promise and challenge, and it is imperative we – all of us – do everything in our power to give life to the many commitments of COP26 in Glasgow. We must make these months count for the climate fight with all the passion and energy we can summon. Not because President Biden or I say so – but because scientists around the world are compiling evidence that is screaming at us to protect the planet and act now to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.”

  4. Donald Pay 2022-05-14 10:05

    Sometimes you’ve got to love God. Myself, I’m a scoffer when it comes to God, but if She’s responsible for the disasters in South Dakota (the ones not created by Noem, that is, who thinks she’s a goddess), well, thank God for taking the time out of Her day to teach Noem a little lesson in humility and why we have government. The covid outbreak was a disaster, too, but Noem didn’t see it that way. Lack of intelligence? Lack of empathy? I have no ideas to explain Noem’s failures as a leader. I recall she was spending a lot of time back then sniffing around the White House with Lewandowski. At least she got away from her Nebraska booty call to spend some time assessing the damage in Castlewood.

  5. Mark Anderson 2022-05-14 13:02

    Well everyone, you can see the storm and it’s damage. You can’t see Covid so killer Noem ignores it, it’s the Republican way.

  6. mike from iowa 2022-05-14 13:08

    Did any of Noem’s National Guard troops find pallets of baby formula heading South for the border for immigrants?

    I just read a 2 year old South Dakota child had to have a liver transplant because of new disease that attacks children.

  7. O 2022-05-14 13:29

    That’s the GOP economic strategy: unbridled capitalism for the gains and socialism for the losses.

    Lesli is on-point for the discussion that should be happening. How much is not spending all these years on warming prevention now costing us on clean up and repair of warming-exasserbated destruction?

  8. cibvet 2022-05-14 14:28

    Donald Pay– I suspect it was not entirely God’s fault as she may have been helping some football team
    win over another team or sharing intellect with a student who failed to study, instead of watching the weather.

  9. WillyNilly 2022-05-15 12:14

    For many of the folks with damaged homes and property their nightmare is just beginning. Your towns will be full of opportunists, thieves and liars.
    Be wary of people who offer free services by saying this is how they help out. Their next question will likely be do you have insurance, and just who is that? Homeowners will learn that most of their local contractors are all booked up and won’t be able to take on new work for months. There’s a lot of activity in the construction area right now and it’s hard to get reliable people without some long term planning. Homeowners will be tempted to sign contracts with people that they are already wary about And they will be right because unethical people will take their deposit money and run. After a severe storm with damage, homeowners don’t always have the resources or the time to do extensive background checks on contractors. People will do shoddy work and run and homeowners will be left with a new set of problems. The Better Business Bureau are really not much help. They are funded by business to protect business. The state does not provide much assistance for ordinary folks because South Dakota laws protect business, not people. And ‘licensed and bonded’ mean little in SD but are good buzz words. Adjusters will be very busy. They won’t be able to spend much time with you and they will be delayed in getting to you. This is a time where you will find out just how good your insurance is. It may be years before you get your home and your life back.

  10. John 2022-05-15 12:47

    Wily Nilly is spot on. Noem best not waste a minute filing a disaster declaration with Javelin Joe.

    That Des Moines rag either reversed two photos of the governor . . . . or she’s wearing the US flag backwards on her hat. If it’s backwards, its amazing, but not surprising that no one told her, or that anyone should have to tell a governor, former US rep, the US flag protocol.

  11. grudznick 2022-05-15 14:29

    Thank Gaia that Mr. Rhoden was probably at the helm of steering this response on the ground. Ms. Noem of course, too, but you know Mr. Rhoden was doing a lot of heavy lifting on his broad shoulders behind the scenes.

  12. ABC 2022-05-17 01:14

    Any of you see Youth V Gov, the documentary on the 21 kids suing the Federal Government on climate change threatening their lives? Its a very good movie.

    Here’s an idea— Do or not do (yoda says) there is no try.

    Create a Climate Change assembly in South Dakota. It will be a nonprofit , not government.

    Yet everyone elected to it (CCA) can have their Title be Governor (As in Executive Branch, analogously) and the Assembly itself, meeting every week until the climate crisis is over or the global warming reverses, would be analogous to the legislature,

    Of course, the Democratic and Republican Parties created the climate crisis with Presidents and Congresses that refused to limit pollution and basically giving HUGE subsidies to the gas, oil and fracking industries.
    So don’t expect any action NOW from the Republican Gov and Legislature here.

    Any one wanna do something?

    You may say, well a nonprofit cant do much compared to State and federal Government.

    Let’s look at what we CAN do.

    A nonprofit Assembly can meet (by Zoom, online or in person) every week of the year. We can do things. We can educate and inform and empower the people that don’t want to do nothing.

    Instead of a debating society that just let’s the lobbyists do their thing (like in Pierre), why don’t we DO something? Or is waiting another
    44 years for MAYBE a Democratic Governor really sexy?

    By 2030 or 2050, the climate will keep changing and warming, coastal areas will flood, droughts and storms will get worse.

    The people in our State (yes, US) we control 70% of the spending, the economy. The other 30 percent is Governments and Companies.

    So since a Nonprofit Climate Change Assembly (statewide) would the first in our country, what can we do?

    We can’t pass laws or levy taxes. But we CAN
    1. Tell the people where they can buy electric cars and trucks
    2. Advise people of resources for more plant based diets, since animal agriculture does produce global warming and waste of food resources (the pigs and cows eat, but the people don’;t eat the grains)
    3. Create climate friendly innovative projects that the Legislature would never think of
    4. Really recycle plastics in every county. If government won’t do it, we will.

    ( ) (Cars and trucks are 33% )

    We could meet every week, do things every week, get people elected in every county.

    What has happened in State elections since 1978. Nothing.

    We the people can do something.

    It’s easier to complain than do something.

    What if OUR Climate Action Assemblies can do more than the State Government. (Giver-Mint to those receiving the government money to do nothing and maintain the status quo.) ??

    How old will you be in 2050? Will you be able to say, Hey, we started Climate Change Assemblies in South Dakota, and we DID things to help?

    or do you want to tell your kids and grandkids, yeah, in 2022, we decided to nothing but complain?

    It costs very little money to set this up. Your beer and wine budget probably exceeeds what it would cost to set up this Assembly.

    Anyone want to do something positive?

  13. ABC 2022-05-17 01:19

    Since we the people spend 70% of the money in our State, and since it is legal to set up a Nonprofit 1st Amendment assembly ,
    we definitely can change the history of South Dakota.

    Think outside of the Pierre Box.

    Climate Change Assemblies can exist in every County, 67 counites. We can elect anyone 18 or older that wants to serve, as well as, hey we can elect Junior Senators who are 10 to 17 (with parents permission).

    We can do this. (Cynics are lazy).

  14. ABC 2022-05-17 01:36

    Maybe a Climate Change Assembly in Harding County or Day County will do a REVOLUTIONARY new project that can change
    the world for the better!

    Do or not do, there is no try.

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