Local citizens pitch in to help battle flood

On June 2, people from Vermillion pitched in and filled sandbags to help people in battle flooding in Dakota Dunes and Yankton. The large group of volunteers included people involved with the Clay County 4-H Youth Organization, University of South Dakota employees, and other residents of Vermillion that gathered in an empty lot near the Clay County Courthouse.

Julie Fallan, senior secretary at USD�s dental hygiene department, who was representing the Clay County 4-H Youth Organization, was unhappy that it came down to this.

�If thought was put to what was happening months ago, we would not have come down to this,��  she said. She was concerned about the people whose houses were affected.

�I and my family are not affected by flooding. But it�s the people whose houses are affected that we are worried about,� Fallan said.

Tom Sorensen, assistant dean at the USD School of Law, said many people from the Vermillion community are helping flood victims.

�These sandbags are 40 pounds each. It takes about 1,000 pounds to load a half-ton pick-up truck. We are also grateful to USD President James W. Abbott for allowing the use of university equipment,� said Sorensen.

Hundreds of USD employees and students have come together so far to help with flood control efforts. The university is allowing its employees to volunteer up to four hours per shift to help with sandbagging and other tasks with no loss of pay or leave.

Todd Mechling, CMJ Faculty at the USD, said, �I did something � I did what I could do. I brought my son. When all these things happen, you have got to help.�

He also said he would appreciate people coming to help from all walks of life. �There is some silver lining when a disaster happens. People are here to help,� he said.

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