Storm Leads OST To Impose Voluntary Water Restrictions For Most Of Reservation


      The Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Water Maintenance and Conservation has issued a voluntary water restriction for most of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The order issued on Monday cited access issues caused by the storms of the past 2 weeks.

      The voluntary use restriction, which runs through 4:30 Friday afternoon, essentially just asks that household use of water be limited to avoid overburdening the system. 

      The department says deep snow and drifts have prevented workers from reaching most of the pumping stations that keep water flowing in normal operations.

     As a result, some of the stations are off-line or functioning well below normal, leaving some service areas with low or no water pressure.

      The OST Water Department is also asking reservation residents to check livestock tanks, homes and yard hydrants for leaks.

      The restriction area extends from Kyle to Pine Ridge and includes Slim Buttes to the Prairie Winds Casino,  homes located east of Pine Ridge, KILI housing, Sharps Corner, Rockyford, Cuny Table, Red Shirt Table, Evergreen, Porcupine, KILI housing, Wounded Knee, Wolf Creek, and Wolf Creek School

       Meanwhile, officials from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are in Pine Ridge to meet with Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out.

       Star Comes Out, who took office earlier this month, issued a State of Emergency Declaration Dec 17th during the first of the two storms, Winter Storm Diaz.

     Presidential spokeswoman Alicia Running Eagle told the Rapid City Journal on Tuesday that a press conference is planned for sometime this week to talk about the state of emergency.

      Running Eagle also said there have been no reports of deaths on the Pine Ridge Reservation from the storms.