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Noem breaks down decision to not send National Guard

todayJune 28, 2024 2

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says deploying the National Guard was among the options for responding to the floodwaters that consumed several South Dakota communities.

“We did down in Union County, when I was down there, I believe on Sunday, have a discussion about National Guard, and they were talking about security resources that they needed,” Noem said.

“So, after that discussion we decided to, it would be more appropriate to bring law enforcement in who had the authority to actually, they were concerned about people going into homes that were unsafe and not being able to stop them. Maybe looters and people that would be vandalizing some of these homes that did not have families in them any longer, and [they] realized that the authority that a law enforcement officer and highway patrol officer would have would be much more appropriate than a National Guard soldier.”

Noem: 30 counties impacted by flooding

The National Guard wasn’t dispatched. Now, Noem’s previous decision to send the guard to the U.S. border with Mexico has received attention.

Dan Santella: Is there an inconsistency in sending the guard to the border but not to Union County?

“No, it’s a completely different situation, and I would say that people that have time to criticize should instead get off their keyboards and go help their neighbors,” Noem said. “Go help people in South Dakota get through this situation. People have lost their homes, and to politicize it is completely inappropriate.”

With this decision, Noem emphasizes a precise mission.

“The National Guard, when they are deployed, they have to have a mission,” Noem said. “And in sitting there with the community, having the discussion on if it was appropriate to use the National Guard or not, they decided not to make a request because they did not have a mission for them to complete.”

They lost everything, but they have each other

With floodwaters leaving many homes unlivable, there’s no shortage of people needing support. Asked how well-wishers can help the people who were hit so hard, Noem highlights a local office.

“I think always work with your county emergency management director,” she said. “They know where the needs are, and they’re helping to coordinate that.”

If you’ve had flood damage, you can report that on the state’s website.

Full interview with Gov. Noem, June 28, 2024:

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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