National Guard supports flood relief

National Guard supports flood relief
The South Dakota National Guard continues to support local emergency management agencies in support of flood relief efforts in Eastern South Dakota.

Weekend storms brought heavy rain creating flood conditions in eastern parts of the state causing property and road damage.

"The community knows the Guard is there to help," said Maj. Bruce Carter, commander for Task Force 2-147, which is headquartered in Aberdeen.

National Guardsmen completed missions that involved hauling of a non-military generator and pumps to Groton and Warner, sandbagging in Redfield and Aberdeen, and supporting the distribution of resources at the Brown County Highway Shop in Aberdeen.

The South Dakota Emergency Operations Center, Pierre, tasked the missions to the South Dakota National Guard beginning at 2 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 6, and

all missions were completed at 10:30 p.m. MDT.

Carter said 75 Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 147th Field Artillery, the 665th Maintenance Company and the 740th Transportation Company have been involved

with the current relief effort.

"Guardsmen have left their own homes that were being flooded to help others,"

said Master Sgt. Todd Rose, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of TF 2-147.

"This shows the quality of the South Dakota National Guard – they put the needs of the community before their own."

Carter said that fellow National Guardsman Sgt. 1st Class David Nichols of Redfield abandoned efforts to save his own home yesterday to help save a local resident's home. Carter said numerous Soldiers in Aberdeen displayed the same action of selfless service in their response to the local community's needs.

Soldiers filled and placed 600-700 sandbags to save a resident's home in Redfield and built a three-sandbag-high wall that is 1,000 feet in length to protect water treatment lift-stations and electrical sub-stations in Aberdeen.

Carter said National Guardsmen delivered water pumps and a generator to alleviate pressure on the local water treatment plants in Groton and Warner that were being overwhelmed due to the flooding.

Currently, the South Dakota National Guard has 47 Soldiers of the original 75

on state active duty in support of ongoing relief efforts in Eastern South Dakota.

The South Dakota Governor's Office has provided the following safety precautions when dealing with flood waters.

1. Safe drinking water should be of top priority (boil if in doubt). For infants, use ready to feed formula or bottled water for mixing formula. Water of drinking quality should be used for food preparation. Clean water should be available for frequent hand washing or bathing.

2. Frozen foods that have thawed should be discarded.

3. Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves, especially if in direct contact with untreated sewage. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and clean water afterward.

4. One of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of waterborne disease is to always wash your hands with plenty of soap and clean, warm water. If warm water is not available, use an antibacterial hand sanitizer.

5. When using gas-fired generators, make sure there is plenty of ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

6. Seek immediate medical guidance in the event of contact with chemical or corrosive substances.

7. Suggested guidelines for cleanup from sewage backflow into buildings:

a. Raw untreated sewage poses a threat to human health.

b. Cleanup should commence as soon as possible and proceed as follows.

(1) Remove all water, sewage, and contaminated materials.

(2) Thoroughly clean and mop the area.

(3) Treat the flooded area with an appropriate disinfectant.

For more information on flood cleanup, visit the Department of Health Web site at and click on "flood cleanup."

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