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CRST Declares Another Emergency In Flooding Areas


The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman is declaring an emergency for areas along one of the reservation’s rivers effected by flooding.

Tribal officials say they expect the river to rise even further.

Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier says several homes in the reservation are under water near the town of Bridger.

Frazier says emergency crews are down there helping families get out of their homes. He says those crews are also placing sandbags to figure out where flooding might become an issue.

Flood stage is at 17 ft. According to the National Weather Service, the river is at 22.8 ft. That crest is beating an over ten year record by .2 feet.  

Frazier says the winter transition into spring is hard this year.

“A lot of frustration from our people,” Frazier says. “They’re just unable to do the things they would normally do this time of the year because of a lot of mud and because of the rain, just the snow, just everything. The struggles they’re having just to be able to travel or things like that.”

It’s the second time this year the tribe has declared an emergency. Most of the flooding is coming from the large amount of rain the area is receiving, as well as snow melt from the Black Hills.

Frazier says more and more areas of the reservation are flooding where it hasn’t in the past.

He says he places blame on siltation buildup from the Oahe Dam.

“There’s a creek near the mouth of the Moreau [River] that is so full of silt that it’s at the point where a three or four inch rain and water is running over the bridge,” Frazier says. “I think that it has a lot to do with that, is why we’re seeing more flooding today.”

Frazier says the rain and snowstorms and subsequent flooding have washed out several roads and culverts, which effect the reservation’s infrastructure to handle the waters.