As I traveled across the state for meetings and community events this past week, I was struck yet again by the generosity, dedication, and strong will of the people of our state.
Communities across South Dakota are dealing with rising water levels on the Missouri River and are now bracing for record flooding. Yet, as the reservoirs release water at record levels, the iron will and determination of South Dakotans continue to overcome the potential devastating flood waters on the horizon.
I have seen firsthand friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers standing side-by-side, filling sandbags to protect their homes and businesses from the swollen river. Some have cancelled their family vacations, and others have taken time off from work without pay to provide help to those in need. Citizens from across the state are facing this challenge as a united community.
In addition to individual citizens, dozens of towns across the state have far exceeded expectations by providing flooded areas with emergency and safety personnel, equipment, and hundreds of thousands of sandbags.
Offering a hand up to their neighbors is the way South Dakotans operate. The response to this crisis has been nothing less than unshakeable courage and generosity.
I extend my sincere gratitude to all of the volunteers, emergency personnel, and South Dakota National Guard members who have come to the aid of so many across the state. I couldn't be more proud to be a South Dakotan than I was this past week.