Have you heard? There is flooding in Pine Ridge due to the snow melt (caused by some brief, unseasonably warm weather), ice jams, clogged culverts and bridges.
You haven’t heard? Why I am not surprised?!
There are 11 creeks flooding with White Clay Creek presently being the worst. One man said he hadn’t seen anything like it in the past 50 years.
The reason I know about this is that I follow KILI radio (90.1 FM, the Voice of the Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation) via internet and Facebook. I also subscribe to the Lakota Country Times (based locally near the reservation) via internet and follow their postings to Facebook and Twitter.
I read the Rapid City Journal online. That is where I found an AP News article about the flooding and evacuation of residents in some areas. The AP article states it is based on information obtained from the RC Journal.
So I decided to cast the net a bit wider. I did a web search for information on the flooding in Pine Ridge 2011. What did I find?
ABC News or an affiliate? Nowhere to be found!
CBS News or affiliate? Yes, a 1:40 clip on KELO TV – helpful. Be sure to watch the clip! There will be a quiz later.
CNN? I’ll write again when I stop laughing.
FOX News? Sorry, still laughing!
NBC News or affiliate? Well, yes, if posting the AP article on their website counts; KXMB did that.
Here is what little I did find. I’ll let you check it out if you want, before I continue . . . . . .
Rapid City Journal: AP Article http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/article_e119e9e3-4060-5d41-93ef-4257649ffbeb.html
KELO TV News http://keloland.tv/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=111005
KXMB TV CBS affiliate Bismark/Mandan http://www.kxnet.com/getArticle.asp?ArticleId=728059 (AP article)
The AP article was also printed in GoWatertown.net (Watertown, SD), IndyStar.com (Indianapolis, IN) and KTIV.com (Sioux City, IA).
Facebook page of Trees, Water, People with photos of flood: http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=276007&id=11071758786
So again, the poorest people in this nation are experiencing a disaster and the national news media are nowhere to be found.
Is anyone going to declare the area a disaster zone so the residents are eligible for FEMA aid? When? By the time they get aid, it might be too late for some. Is Oprah going to set up a charity for these folks? I don’t think their in her radar. Are there going to be celebrities vying to have a fund-raising telethon to help these residents replace what shabby homes they may have had? Not holding my breath!
If you think that people on the reservation have homeowner’s insurance, think again. A few maybe; the majority no. Too expensive when you already can’t pay for the necessities in life (you know, food, heat, electricity). Even KILI radio didn’t have building insurance when their roof caved during the past year!
What do you think will happen to poor people who have lost what little they have? They will get leftovers, handouts, second-hand donations and start all over again trying to get back on their feet.
Mother Nature has decided to throw a curve ball to these residents who are trying to pick up the pieces. She has pulled back the pleasant, relatively warm weather and replaced it with a reason for the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning.
That’s right, in the midst of all the flooding, the temperatures are plummeting as we speak. Right now it is about 18 degrees in Pine Ridge. The wind will be blowing at 15-20 mph with about 6 inches of snow expected. The wind chill temperatures will range from 3 degrees above zero to 7 degrees below zero! Isn’t that a kick in the teeth from Mother Nature after this flooding which still exists?
I guess it’s time for the quiz. Here you go:
What was the name of the man interviewed in the KELO TV piece?
(Jeopardy music plays . . . da da da da …da da da …)
Okay, time’s up. His name is Henry Red Cloud.
Why is he important enough for me to ask you that question? It is another piece of irony, if you will, in this disaster.
You see, Henry Red Cloud is head of Lakota Solar Enterprises, which is what you see in the TV clip. Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, is one of the nation’s first 100% Native American owned and operated renewable energy companies. LSE provides training to enable tribal members to become Solar Technicians. LSE also manufactures solar panels and installs them. This is a budding company on the reservation that has hit a serious set back. To learn more about LSE, you can go to the website of the not-for-profit organization Trees, Water, People (http://www.treeswaterpeople.org/tribal/info/tribal_lse.htm). To help in the current crisis, you can go directly to the link that follows:
To donate to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center relief effort please visit http://treeswaterpeople.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/emergency-flood-relief-fund-created-for-red-cloud-renewable-energy-center/. We need to get people back to work! To see a video of the flooding in this area, go to http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1247074937634&oid=21578805928&comments
So, back to the original question. Have you heard about the flooding in Pine Ridge, SD?
Yes, you have, no thanks to the national news media who are busy telling us about a lot of other nonsense.
Your job? To pass the information on. It appears that the only way there will be any help for these people who live in 2 of the 8 poorest counties in the United States (all in SD) is for those of us who care to pass it on until someone has to notice.
Are you willing to help?