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NEWS | June 20, 2014

Flooding in Minnesota, South Dakota leads to Guard response

By Steve Marshall National Guard Bureau

Editor's note: While Minnesota troops were still involved Monday in flood response, South Dakota National Guard members ended their response Sunday.

ARLINGTON, Va. - Soldiers in Minnesota and South Dakota were kept busy Friday responding to flooding in their respective states.

In Minnesota, about 20 National Guard Soldiers from the Mankato-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry mobilized to Henderson to support Sibley County with flood response activities.

"Our Soldiers are ready to assist our neighbors near the Minnesota River as flood waters continue to rise there and across the state," said Lt. Col. Rick Schute, Minnesota National Guard Director of Operations.

The Soldiers will provide overwatch of critical flood mitigation infrastructure sites including flowage channels, levee watch and lift stations. The Soldiers are responding at the order of Gov. Mark Dayton after local authorities requested state assistance for ongoing flooding in the area.

Elsewhere in the state, about 100 Soldiers from the Cloquet-based Troop C,1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry, mobilized to International Falls to support Koochiching County with flood response activities. "Our Soldiers are prepared to respond at the direction of local authorities to save lives and protect property in support of our neighbors," Schute said.

In South Dakota, about 147 National Guard members were assisting state and local emergency management officials in response to a rise in water levels along the Big Sioux River.

The state was hit hard by natural disaster this week: A tornado Wednesday in the small town of Wessington Springs, South Dakota, resulted in more than 170 Soldiers and Airmen from the South Dakota National Guard being called on for help.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in three counties but no National Guard assets have yet been called upon, said Capt. Joe Travato, a spokesman for the Wisconsin National Guard.