Noem activates National Guard to assist on South Dakota reservations

With blizzard conditions and once-in-a-generation freezes grinding most of the state to a halt, Gov. Kristi Noem called a state of emergency to streamline aid to local and tribal partners.

Military vehicles belonging to the South Dakota National Guard prepare for activation to western South Dakota to assist state agencies with recovery from a multi-day snowstorm on Dec. 23, 2022.
Contributed / South Dakota National Guard
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SIOUX FALLS — Responding to blizzard conditions and life-threatening temperatures across much of the state, Gov. Kristi Noem declared an emergency and activated the National Guard to mitigate the impacts of winter storms that have been pummeling South Dakota and the reservations.

“My administration has been assisting county and tribal governments in the local response to the ongoing winter storms across the state,” Noem announced. “Under the direction of the Office of Emergency Management, we will continue to help all of South Dakota’s communities get through these storms, together.”

Noem also activated the South Dakota National Guard. On Friday afternoon, the Guard announced its missions include hauling available firewood from the Black Hills Forest Service to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, where nearly two weeks of extreme weather has left resources and emergency services stretched thin. Soldiers will also assist state agencies with snow removal.

Though no end date to the state of emergency was included in the executive order, the scope of the state’s duties is “to restore normal travel conditions and emergency services” for county and tribal governments.


Jason Harward is a Report for America corps reporter who writes about state politics in South Dakota. Contact him at 605-301-0496 or

Jason Harward covers South Dakota news for Forum News Service. Email him at
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