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There were only about 2,000 people in South Dakota who were still without power Friday after an ice storm last week “snapped lines and crumpled poles,” according to the Argus Leader newspaper. The storm initially knocked out power to nearly 12,000 homes as power was cut to large swaths of the state. The ice storms cut power to an area the size of Connecticut. Several communities on the Cheyenne River Indiana Reservation were without. The South Dakota National Guard has been supplying water to Eureka, Faith and Dupree.
The storms have hit the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock reservations particularly hard. The Rapid City Journal reported Tuesday that 35 kidney dialysis patients from Cheyenne River were evacuated late last week after power was cut and transported to Rapid City, where they are receiving treatment. The patients were taken out of their darkened communities in a convoy of three vans and several support vehicles across icy roads in the middle of the night.
The Travelodge motel in Rapid City allowed the refugees to store food in refrigerators and to cook. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and several community action groups also helped provide food, clothing and other items needed by the displaced patients. The Native American Caucus student organization at Harvard University pitched in, raising money and sending out press releases about “this emergency situation.”