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

  • Published
  • By Capt. Michael Frye
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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."