Episcopal Relief & Development issued a press release that they are responding to requests for emergency aid from the Dioceses of North and South Dakota:
Episcopal Relief & Development Responds to Ice Storm in the Dakotas
From E-R-D online
On January 20, the Episcopal Dioceses of North and South Dakota were affected by a devastating ice storm and subsequent blizzard that left more than 14,000 people without power or access to clean water. In the wake of this disaster, Episcopal Relief & Development has responded to requests for emergency aid from the Dioceses of North and South Dakota.
The already shaky infrastructure of indigenous communities living on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservations was further crippled by the storm. The severe weather downed over 3,000 power poles. Resulting power outages led to the loss of perishable food items and to equipment malfunctions at the local water treatment facilities, contaminating the region’s supply of drinking water. Freezing temperatures caused significant damage to most families’ furnaces and the pipes in many residences froze and burst. It is estimated that most homes will sustain $2,000 to $5,000 in damages.
The Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, which is home to 14 Episcopal congregations, has declared a state of emergency. On both reservations, emergency shelters have been created in schools, community centers and churches to accommodate those left living without heat and hot water. People are sharing the scarce resources available to them.
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“Although much of the world’s focus is on the problems in Haiti, it is crucial that we do not forget those in need here at home,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs. “Episcopal Relief & Development is committed to supporting the communities of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations as they recover from these storms and get back to life as normal.”
To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s work, please visit www.er-d.org or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.