Monday, June 21, 2010

Reservation News (Tornadoes Hit and Save The Rez)

Reservation News (Tornadoes Hit and Save The Rez)
Cheyenne River Rez hit by devasting tornado's
Posted by: "NDN News" tamra_ndnnews
Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:46 pm (PDT)

Dupree rallies after devastating storm

Andrea J. Cook Journal staff | Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:30 pm |
(0) Comments


A tornado is seen looking southwest of Dupree on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
The tornado caused extensive damage to the town of Dupree. (Photo Courtesy
of Ziebach County Sheriff)

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(11) Photos

DUPREE -- Judy Stout was alone when she saw the shambles that was her home
Thursday morning.

While her husband J.T. slept in their daughter's home, Judy walked the short
distance to the site of their home on the northeast edge of Dupree at 4:30

That's when she shed the first of many tears.

The roof covering the Stouts' living room and bedroom is gone. A portion of
the chimney rests buried in the deck. The garage roof rests on the couple's
Cadillac. A nearby shop is gone. Two pickups, an SUV and golf cart sit
surrounded by debris.

While friends and family packed up the remnants of the Stouts' lives, Judy
and J.T. helped where they could and attempted to collect their thoughts.

"I don't think it's really sunk in yet," Judy said.

Like the Stouts, most of Dupree's approximately 480 residents were too busy
picking up the remnants of their lives Thursday to allow the shock of
Wednesday night's storm to sink in.

A giant storm began gathering southwest of Dupree late Wednesday afternoon.
The slow moving giant spawned at least 10 tornadoes and dropped between 2.5
inches and 8 inches of rain over portions of Ziebach County.

The heavy rain caused additional problems. Every depression on the prairie
filled and overflowed with excess water turning lazy streams into gushing

Water flowed over U.S. Highway 212 in several spots forcing the closing of
the highway for several hours. Plows were called out to clear debris from
the roadway early Thursday morning.

The storm moved slowly, according to Susan Sanders of the National Weather
Service. Its sluggish progress was unique, she said.

"It stayed in one place for a long time," Sanders said. "That's quite

The weather service plans to send a storm survey team to the Dupree area
Friday to survey damage and gather more information on the paths of the

Ziebach County Sheriff Bob Menzel has nothing but praise for the weather
service, which sent the warning out early. Menzel was notified about 4:30
p.m. that the storm was taking shape. He headed west of town to watch the
sky as the giant wall of clouds slowly marched out of the southwest toward

"It took it about two hours (for the storm) to get to 212," Menzel said.
During that time, he watched a large funnel cloud form, disappear back into
the clouds only to reform as two rope-like funnels.

Tornado sirens were activated at least twice, he said.

The weather service has not determined whether tornadoes or straight-line
winds caused the damage that was scattered randomly across Ziebach County on
the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Wind speeds of 60 mph were recorded
18 miles north of Dupree at an official reporting station.

Tornadoes of varying sizes were spotted all around the tiny community. The
Stouts saw three to the north and three to the south of their home along
Highway 212 before taking shelter in the basement.

"We watched and it didn't look that bad; we finished eating supper," J.T.

Then the wind died. It turned hot and calm.

"Then, I heard the train coming," J.T. said. That's when he grabbed the dog
and summoned his wife to the basement.

During a brief respite in the storm, the Stouts took a van from the garage
and hurried to their daughter Rhea Stevens' home to check on her family.

"It was so black and raining so hard you couldn't see," Judy said. While
Judy and J.T. huddled in the basement, they knew part of the house's roof
was gone.

Sirens sounded twice in town, and friends called friends or knocked on doors
to alert them. Earlier Wednesday, Menzel posted signs on several buildings
in town designating them as emergency shelters in preparation for the town's
100th birthday.

Dupree's Centennial celebration is planned for the second weekend in July,
and the town was busy preparing for visitors.

But, the headquarters for that celebration was destroyed Wednesday night.

Pioneer Hall, a 60-foot by 120-foot steel building with a breezeway, was
going to be the centerpiece for the celebration. The building's roof is
destroyed and the walls are tiled inward. Insulation sucked from the
structure is scattered across the community.

The storm crumpled grain bins at the Northern Plains Cenex Harvest States
Service Center on the western edge of town. Two 100,000 bushel grain bins
and two 20,000 bushel bins were destroyed along with a storage building. The
office building sustained significant roof damage, but no one was hurt.

General manager Todd Oster said the goal is to have the grain marketing
center back in operation in time for harvest.

Menzel wasn't sure how much damage rural residents sustained.

Pauling Webb, pastor of the United Church of Christ said a family living
north of Lantry, Ted and Lori Berndt, reportedly lost their new home and
most of their outbuildings.

This is the third storm to blast the community in recent years.

Hugs were exchanged before the cleanup work started. Chainsaws attacked
splintered trees. Crews of volunteers hauled away debris and cleared city
streets. Families and friends salvaged what they could.

Mobile homes fared the worst - some were tossed around like toys, others
lost their roofs. Several were destroyed in Dupree and three at Lantry.

Norma and Larry Haskell's mobile home sat in the heart of Dupree. The couple
sought refuge in a dump truck when their home started to shake.

Their home apparently flew over their small pickup before crashing down on
its roof across the street.

"It was there and then it was gone," Norma Haskell said.

Another family member, Dana Haskell, lost a beauty shop and had a hole
ripped in the roof of her home.

Four of the 10 mobile homes in Jackie Joens' mobile home court were
destroyed. At least three of the mobile homes housed families with several

Insurance will probably not pay to replace the structures, Joens said.

"It's a sad situation," Joens said. "We try to provide homes for these
people, but I don't think we'll be able to do it anymore."

Down the street, an unidentified Native American man was injured when a
mobile home hit the car he had taken shelter in, Menzel said. The victim was
taken to Eagle Butte and transported to Bismarck, N.D., the sheriff said.
Another man was also injured and taken to Eagle Butte, Menzel said.

"It's amazing, in some areas there's nothing and in others; it's
devastation," Kristi Farley said. Farley lives southeast of town and had
come to town with her husband, Rick, to assess the damage at the Dupree
school. Portions of the school's roof were damaged.

The American Red Cross arrived early to set up an emergency shelter at the

Webb loaded up with groceries in Eagle Butte Thursday morning. She and Rhea
Smith fed a steady stream of hungry people Thursday.

It was a challenge because the power was out. The storm snapped poles
supporting transmission lines and distribution lines in Moreau Grand
Electric's sub-station in Dupree. It will take a few days to fully restore
power to the area.

"We're taking it a pole at a time," member services representative Roger
Lawien said.

The loss of power was felt as far away as Faith where water restrictions
were put in place. Pump stations on tribal water system that supplies the
community with water were couldn't were not operating.

Tribal authorities mobilized emergency response teams Thursday to assess
damage across the reservation.

Menzel said offers of help started coming in early Thursday.

"We declined most of it," Menzel said.

While she cared for the physical needs of her congregation and the
community, Webb couldn't help but worry about their spiritual needs.

People had barely recovered from the ravages of a spring ice storm that left
much of the area without power for three weeks.

"People are hurting and now they're coping with another tragedy," Webb said.

The Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to the
disaster by assisting residents with food, clothing, shelter, counseling,
and other needs. Red Cross volunteers will be establishing a shelter in the
area. Residents affected by the tornado and in need of assistance can
contact (888) 271-3130.

The chapter will be deploying its Emergency Response Vehicle and eight
volunteers to establish a shelter and conduct a damage assessment.

Anyone who would like to donate time or money to the Red Cross Disaster
Relief Fund, please call (605) 342-4010 or visit the Black Hills Area
Chapter at 1221 N. Maple Ave., Rapid City, S.D. 57701.

Contact Andrea Cook at 394-8423 or
Posted by: "Audrey Beavers" audreybeavers
Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:37 am (PDT)

--- On Thu, 6/17/10, wyldfyre wrote:

From: wyldfyre
To: "Patty Felt" , "Audrey Beavers"
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 9:59 PM

--- On Thu, 6/17/10, Ken Scales wrote:

From: Ken Scales
To: "Cathy" ,, "Dave" , "Dennis McElwee" , "Dominico Hodnett" , "Fara" , "Harvey Crawford" , "Joe Abate" , "Karen" , "Kenneth Scales" , "Lindy Morris" , "Mason Loika" ,, "patricia simpson" , "Richard McNutt" , "Sacred Sound Circle" ,, "Thomas Getz" , "William Soden"
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 12:45 PM


--- On Thu, 6/17/10, wrote:

Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 11:09 AM

#yiv347214063 #yiv785945395 #yiv883101846 p {margin:0;}

Please spread the word to NJAIA members and your other contacts....if you haven't already.


Hi Cindy and Deb -

See the link and understand what the threat is... I hope our gov't will opt for the honorable option...

Please forward to those you know...


All Friends ~

Please sign our Petition to Save Rankokus Reservation! Time is of the essence and we really need your support...if you've signed already, no need to sign again.

Click on the link below to take you to the Petition...and Please pass this on to your friends for them to sign as well....Visit Facebook "Save Rankokus Reservation" page.

Many Thanks to you all!

Obie Batchelor
Council Member
Powhatan Renape Nation
Rankokus Reservation
Res.609-261-4747 /

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