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Dakotas Tribe Opens Shelters Amid Propane Shortage

January 29, 2014, 7:11 AM
Updated: January 29, 2014, 9:51 AM

FORT YATES, ND -

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has opened shelters for people without adequate heat due to a propane shortage exacerbated by recent cold weather.

The reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The tribe has opened shelters in Fort Yates on the North Dakota side and in Wakpala on the South Dakota side.

The American Red Cross is providing meals at both locations, along with cots and blankets.

Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II says it's a potential life-or-death situation. He says about 90 percent of the 5,500 homes on the reservation are heated by propane.

Tribal Emergency Management Director Elliott Ward says only a handful of people have used the shelters so far, but both he and Archambault expect the number to increase. About 10,000 people live on the reservation.

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