UPDATED: 3:54 p.m.
Soldiers from Watertown-based Company A, 139th Brigade Support Battalion got back from the reservation Tuesday night.
They used water hippos to help distribute water to communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
“We use it to transport potable water to anywhere our trucks can make it and they hold about 2,000 gallons,” SD Army National Guard, Sgt. Beau Manning said.
They arrived on Saturday.
“We went to numerous communities, the main ones we have started in were in Pine Ridge, then we went to Evergreen, Porcupine, Red Shirt, and there were a few others like Manderson,” SD Army National Guard Spc. Roderick McRae said.
They gave out about 10,000 gallons of water.
“The experience was good, met a lot of good people and we pretty much were filling up a lot of gallon jugs for people because no one had water for the first couple days we were there,” SD Army National Guard, Sgt. Seth Greenough said.
People would come to the filling station and fill up water bottles, jugs, basically any container they could put water into.
“There were people from two to six days of no water for use, whether it be drinking, cooking or even using for bathrooms and such,” McRae said.
Overall, they are happy to offer help where it was needed.
“It was just a really great privilege and honor to be able to volunteer to be deployed over to the Pine Ridge reservation and to be able to just help the community,” Manning said.
“I think Company A of the 139th BSB did a really good job at reacting to how fast we got the call and the notice and it was a really quick process to get to Pine Ridge,” Greenough said.
There were about 8,000 people on the reservation affected and in need of drinking water.
State officials say the water system is back online in the Pine Ridge area.
Published 10:22 a.m.
Late last week, Governor Kristi Noem activated members of the South Dakota Army National Guard to help distribute water to communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The group has now returned back to the eastern side of South Dakota.
KELOLAND’s Sarah McDonald will be speaking with them Wednesday and will have a full report of their expereince on the reservation on KELOLAND News.
The governor activated members of the South Dakota Army National Guard to help distribute water to communities on the reservation after recent floodwaters washed out a rural waterline. Soldiers from Watertown-based Company A, 139th Brigade Support Battalion, were arriving Saturday to provide drinkable water in Red Shirt, Pine Ridge, Porcupine, Evergreen and Wounded Knee.