Flooding hits Pine Ridge Indian Reservation hard

PINE RIDGE, SD- Flooding that has hit parts of the Midwest hard has nearly paralyzed an American Indian reservation in southern South Dakota.

Floodwaters on the Pine Ridge Reservation caused by heavy snowfall and a rapid melt have swamped roads, trapped people in homes and cut off water supplies to thousands. Volunteers have used horses to get to some people in need.

The situation is slowly starting to improve, and National Guard soldiers dispatched by the governor over the weekend have ended their water supply work.

But Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner says there are still people in rural areas without easy access to pharmacies and grocery stores. And he says the flooding could put the tribe in recovery mode for months, if not longer, and devastate its economy.

Bear Runner hopes the "state and federal government help out to the best of their abilities."

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)