Agency RSS

Governor Daugaard Orders Inmates, Equipment to Assist Storm Cleanup, Guard on Alert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 12, 2013

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Joe Kafka at 605-773-3212


 Governor Daugaard Orders Inmates, Equipment to Assist Storm Cleanup

 National Guard Units Placed on Alert           


PIERRE, S.D.Governor Dennis Daugaard issued an emergency declaration Friday to provide state assistance with tree debris removal in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties in the wake of a major spring storm.


The emergency declaration will allow inmate crews from the Department of Corrections and personnel and equipment from the Department of Transportation to be used to assist local emergency officials in clearing from streets massive amounts of debris from trees downed in the ice storm.


“At the state level, we have been in constant contact with local officials and monitoring the response to this disaster,’’ Governor Daugaard said. “Together, we determined that state assistance would help the local officials clear the debris and restore normal conditions for our citizens.


Monday morning, a 50-member crew of inmates from the Department of Correction’s Jameson Unit in Sioux Falls will arrive on the scene to assist in removing downed trees and other debris from the streets. The Department of Transportation will have five loaders with grapple forks and 10 dump trucks on the scene at the same time.


Another crew of inmates is available from the Yankton unit if needed to assist Minnehaha County with debris clean-up, the Governor said.


In addition, Governor Daugaard placed soldiers from the South Dakota National Guard on alert. A decision on whether those additional units are needed to assist with the clean-up will be made Monday after consultation with local officials.


The state resources are being provided Monday because local officials say many areas still have heavy coatings of ice. A warmer weather forecast for the weekend should remove much of that ice and allow the removal of the downed trees to be done safely.