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Winter weather again freezes eastern South Dakota

Law enforcement and snow plows continue to work on the streets in Southeastern South Dakota
South Dakota Highway Patrol
Roads continue to be snow covered in East River, including at this location near Brookings.

The most recent winter storm brought 27 inches of snow to the community of Lake Andes in Charles Mix County – home of the Yankton Reservation.

Tribal secretary Sam Sully is among those snowed in.

“We had a big storm that took care of all the highways from the communities to the hospitals, so it was pretty tough," Sully said. "Fast as they would plow, some of the roads would be filled back in again. It was just a hell of a night. We do have a few thousand members living in our areas all together, so it does get pretty active.

Sully said 60 to 70 percent of the community is native with separate law enforcements and separate jurisdictions. He said all agencies cooperated to take care of each other.

“I was very glad that we worked together, you can help save the lives of people – not only tribal people but the other people that may need it too,” Sully said.

Sully said teams are looking at a heavy workload in the days ahead.

“Today we have drifts all over, but our maintenance crews are out doing snow removal, and their priorities are people that are diabetics, people that need to be getting dialysis every other day, people that need to be getting groceries,” Sully said.

He says it’s personal because they also rescued a family member suffering pneumonia. This person was eventually rescued from their home after a coordinated effort involving a skid loader. He says their condition is improving in a local hospital.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture