Thousands trapped on South Dakota reservation burn clothes for warmth in wake of storm

With a twinge of cold in her toes and a tone of concern tinted by exhaustion, Anna Halverson relayed the message: “We’re in a really extreme emergency down here.”

Total snow reports from Dec. 13 – 16 in Western South Dakota.

courtesy: National Weather Service – Rapid City

Winter Storm Diaz blanketed the Pine Ridge Reservation in more than 30 inches of snow – incredible enough on its own – but it was amplified by intense winds that brought the area to a standstill under drifts of snow several feet high.

Halverson, who represents the Pass Creek District on the Pine Ridge Reservation, described their harrowing situation to the Journal on Thursday.

“It’s been really tough,” she said. “We don’t have the proper equipment here to handle what’s been going on. We have drifts as high as some houses that stretch 60, 70 yards at a time.”

More than 10 days since the storm began, Diaz has moved on and the skies have started to clear, but the recovery process is just beginning. Halverson didn’t get dug out of her house until eight

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