05
Jun
11

Riverwatch: SD National Guard FACT SHEET – Updated June 5, 2011

By Capt. Michael Frye
114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Background:
South Dakota is experiencing record flows of water on the Missouri River. This is a direct result of record snowfall in Montana that is beginning to melt and heavy rainfall in eastern Wyoming, Montana and the western Dakotas. This snow melt and rain water is flowing into streams and rivers that flow into South Dakota. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing record flows of water at all the dams on the Missouri River to make room for the water that is flowing into the upper Missouri River reservoir basin. These record releases on the Missouri River are expected to cause major flooding issues along the river.
On May 27, 2011, the initial S.D. National Guard flood response was directed to the cities of Pierre and Ft. Pierre. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the SDNG added forces to assist in mitigating the emerging threats to Vermillion, Yankton and Dakota Dunes in S.E. South Dakota.
“The levees are doing their job,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy Reisch, the adjutant general for the South Dakota National Guard. “The surveillance of levees and the response along the dry side of the levees has been a cooperative effort between the South Dakota National Guard and civilian authorities.”
“With the increased releases from the Oahe Dam, the water levels in Pierre and Fort Pierre are rising.” said Maj. Gen. Reisch. “Our levee patrol and quick reaction force elements are actively providing levee patrols and a quick reaction force to address any storm drain backflow issues as quickly as possible.”
“An additional 150 Soldiers and Airmen have been activated to the Dakota Dunes area,” said Maj. Gen. Reisch. “This has been a significant activation of the South Dakota National Guard and I am very pleased with how the Soldiers and Airmen have performed the mission.”

Past 24 hours:
In the Pierre and Fort Pierre area:
“When our Quick Reaction Forces are called upon, we will have civilian authorities providing direction on how to repair the levees,” said Maj. Martin Yost, task Force 147th operations officer. “The National Guard is here to provide the manpower and equipment to perform those repairs throughout the Pierre and Fort Pierre communities.”

76 114th Fighter Wing security personnel conducted 24 hour security/surveillance in Pierre and Ft. Pierre
218 Task Force 147 personnel filled and emplaced sand bags in Pierre and Fort Pierre to protect infrastructure and for public use
Personnel and equipment placed to provided a quick reaction force to reinforce critical infrastructure
Established a Unified Operations Center at the Mickelson Building with local, state, and National Guard personnel to coordinate levee security and emergency levee repair
UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew evaluated bag operations and planned for future sandbagging operations
A QRF team of 60 soldiers responded in Pierre and Fort Pierre to water backup through the storm drain system and provided response teams to other areas along the levee

In the Dakota Dunes and Yankton area:
Task Force 153rd Commander, Lt. Col. Joe Eining said, “As task force commander, I am very happy with how quickly the joint effort came together. This really is one team, one fight. Civilians have been more than supportive and happy to see Guardsmen on the ground helping save their property.”

Personnel conducted evening presence patrols in Dakota Dunes, McCook Lake, and Wynstone housing developments
85 personnel from the 235th Military Police Company conducted traffic control points and area security
Met again with local officials to refine the Levee Security / Surveillance plan
330 personnel sandbagged in Dakota Dunes at 7 locations
70 personnel sandbagged in Yankton

Current Operations:
In the Pierre and Fort Pierre area
More than 90 114th Fighter Wing personnel will continue to conduct 24 hour security and surveillance of the levee system in Pierre and Fort Pierre
150 Task Force 147 personnel continue to fill and emplace sand bags in both Pierre and Fort Pierre and are on standby to augment the Quick Reaction Force
Train ground personnel with helicopter
A reserve QRF of 25 Soldiers from the 147th Forward Support Company and 139th Brigade Support Battalion has been stood up for use as needed in Pierre and Fort Pierre

In the Dakota Dunes and Yankton area
125 Soldiers military police missions, traffic control, area security and Quick Reaction Force in Dakota Dunes
289 personnel sandbagging in Dakota Dunes at 7 locations
70 personnel sandbagging in Yankton
To date the South Dakota National Guard has filled more than 196,000 sandbags in Dakota Dunes and more than 107,000 sandbags in Yankton
More than 1,400 1-ton sandbags
Future Operations:
In the Pierre and Fort Pierre area
114th Fighter Wing will begin tasking for levee patrol and security
100% of A and B Batteries of the 842nd Engineering Company will continue QRF and sandbagging operations
Quick reaction force will continue to provide support for infrastructure reinforcement and emergency levee repair with teams staged at three locations, two in Pierre and one in Fort Pierre
Storm drains in Pierre will be reinforced using 147th Forward Support Company personnel
In the Dakota Dunes and Yankton area
Continue sandbagging operations, area security, traffic control, evacuation, and levee security operations
An additional 150 Soldiers and Airmen will be activated on Sunday June 5, 2011 for duty in Dakota Dunes.
More Information:
Currently, there are nearly 1,300 Soldiers and Airmen from the South Dakota National Guard performing various flood support duties throughout the state.
Task Force 147 is comprised of more than 580 Soldiers and Airmen from the South Dakota National Guard. This task force is responsible for berm patrol, security, traffic control, quick reaction forces along the levees and continue sandbagging efforts. Task Force 147 is working in and around the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas.
Task Force 153 currently has more than 540 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen performing sandbagging operations, levee patrols, security, traffic control, and quick reaction along the levees in the Yankton and Dakota Dunes areas.
The National Guard remains vigilant by working around the clock in this historic flooding event, and continues to work side by side with local, state and federal agencies to help South Dakotans in their time of need.

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