Residents, Soldiers, Airmen come together to provide Missouri River flood relief

PIERRE, S.D. -- Tech. Sgt. Eric Hoogendoorn (right) and Staff Sgt. Adam Groff, both from the 114th Fighter Wing Civil Engineers, help Pierre resident Deloren Krieger load sandbags into his vehicle. To date, more than 900 Soldiers and Airmen from the South Dakota National Guard have been called to support the flood fighting efforts along the Missouri River. (SDNG photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Tech. Sgt. Eric Hoogendoorn (right) and Staff Sgt. Adam Groff, both from the 114th Fighter Wing Civil Engineers, help Pierre resident Deloren Krieger load sandbags into his vehicle. To date, more than 900 Soldiers and Airmen from the South Dakota National Guard have been called to support the flood fighting efforts along the Missouri River. (SDNG photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Tech. Sgt. Kevin Elder, a Crew Chief with the 114th Fighter Wing, assists Pierre resident Mark Barnett with another load of sandbags. More than 200 South Dakota Air National Guard Airmen were activated on May 30 as part of an effort to minimize flooding throughout the cities of Pierre and Ft. Pierre, S.D. More than 100 additional Airmen were activated on May 31 to Dakota Dunes, S.D., to assist with flood relief in that area of the state.(SDNG photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Tech. Sgt. Kevin Elder, a Crew Chief with the 114th Fighter Wing, assists Pierre resident Mark Barnett with another load of sandbags. More than 200 South Dakota Air National Guard Airmen were activated on May 30 as part of an effort to minimize flooding throughout the cities of Pierre and Ft. Pierre, S.D. More than 100 additional Airmen were activated on May 31 to Dakota Dunes, S.D., to assist with flood relief in that area of the state.(SDNG photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

FT. PIERRE, S.D. -- Capt. Kevin Miller, Budget Officer for the 114th Financial Management Flight, works with Donna Brown-Glow, a Wood, S.D. and Ft. Pierre resident to fill sandbags late into the evening on May 31. Brown-Glow's home has not been threatened by the flooding, but feels it's important to help others throughout the state.(Photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

FT. PIERRE, S.D. -- Capt. Kevin Miller, Budget Officer for the 114th Financial Management Flight, works with Donna Brown-Glow, a Wood, S.D. and Ft. Pierre resident to fill sandbags late into the evening on May 31. Brown-Glow's home has not been threatened by the flooding, but feels it's important to help others throughout the state.(Photo by Capt. Michael Frye, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer) (RELEASED)

PIERRE, SD -- Deloren Krieger isn't taking any chances. By 7 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, he was already picking up more sandbags. As the waters began to encroach on the local golf course near his home, this Pierre resident continued to build the berm that surrounds his residence.

Krieger said although there is some distance that separates his home from the river, he feels that with the golf course so close, his home may be in danger.

"I don't have that big of a house," said Krieger. "But even a 1,000-square-foot house with a 5-foot berm surrounding it takes a lot of sandbags."

Sandbagging efforts continue as many volunteers have answered the call for protecting homes like Krieger's, even though their own homes aren't in harm's way.

Local residents like Donna Brown-Glow and her husband share their time between Wood and Fort Pierre. Although Brown-Glow's homes aren't in danger, she feels it's important to help those in need.

"South Dakota is a great state," said Brown-Glow. "We are all neighbors throughout South Dakota, and I want to help my neighbors out."

She also said she is grateful for the Airmen and Soldiers who are in the communities helping with the sandbagging efforts in this historic flooding event.

"I'm an Army brat and have a great respect for the military," Brown-Glow added. "I am very pleased to see them here. They are who we depend on."

Lindsey Rogers, a Fort Pierre resident, shared Brown-Glow's same sentiment. She said the Fort Pierre Pool, where she has been the manager the past two years, has already been closed indefinitely. Since her summer plans changed, she has taken that turn of events to help support the Soldiers and Airmen who have been called to support the flood fighting efforts along the Missouri River.

Rogers has been spending her time at the Expo Center sandbagging with volunteers and South Dakota National Guard members.

"We are spending a lot of our time laughing and telling funny stories to keep our minds off sand," said Rogers with a smile.

Rogers has also brought her management skills to the fight. As food donations come in from the community, she's making sure that food reaches the Guardsmen and volunteers who have come out to work. She said her personal goal is to aid the Soldiers and Airmen as much as possible, as without their support, helping the community would be more difficult.

"It's unbelievable," adds Rogers. "You hear of these Guardsmen going overseas and supporting our country, but when small communities like Pierre and Fort Pierre are in trouble, being able to see these guys come in and give up their summers to help us like this, you can't be thankful enough that they are here."

Pierre resident Mark Barnett has felt the need to step up to the sandbagging challenge, as well. His home isn't in the flood zone, but he has picked up loads of sandbags throughout the past five days.

When asked where the sandbags were going while picking up his third load on Wednesday, he simply answered, "Friends."

Barnett echoed the common theme amongst Pierre and Fort Pierre residents, "We're glad to see the National Guard here. We need their help."