Lakota FCU Assisting Members Affected by Flooding
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
3/28/2019

Photo above: The Black Hills FCU van is loaded with drinking water this morning and on its way to Lakota Federal Credit Union. 

 

Kyle, SD – Flooding is taking a toll right now on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an area served by Lakota Federal Credit Union (LFCU). With a large geographical range, the reservation is home to almost 20,000 people, with half living at or below the poverty level. The devastation could put the tribe in recovery mode for months ahead, but right now, drinkable water is in short supply.

 

Yesterday, CUAD contacted Shayna Ferguson, Manager of LFCU. “It has been pretty hectic here,” said Ferguson, Manager of LFCU. “A large portion of our reservation was without running water for six days. Rural Water was finally able to fix the water main break late Sunday evening, but now the reservation is on a boil notice, and many do not have clean drinking water. The flooding is pretty extreme with bridges being washed away. We have families stranded, and a water rescue team from Rapid City has been deployed here to evacuate them.”

 

According to Ferguson, the credit union is safe and all services are operational. However, a majority of their members have been affected by the water outage compounded by the flooding. “I see in the news that we are in for another round of snow on Friday, but hopefully Mother Nature is close to being done,” said Ferguson.

 

Lakota FCU purchased the last available pallet of water from their closest Sam’s Club this week, and offered the supplies for free to those in the community who could stop by their office in Kyle. The credit union will also be out serving their communities this week via the Rolling Rez bus.

 

“The flood images of the damage on Pine Ridge are truly heartbreaking,” said Jeff Olson, President/CEO of CUAD. “Some residents have already spent nearly two weeks stranded in their homes. When I spoke to Shayna at Lakota FCU yesterday afternoon, I asked how we can help, and what they need most. She said they need a lot more bottled water to give to members.”

Jeff Olson immediately contacted credit unions in the Rapid City area, including Black Hills FCU and Northern Hills FCU, to ask for help. They responded without hesitating, arranging for additional bottles of water to be delivered to Lakota FCU today. Black Hills FCU staff is already on their way with an additional 60 cases – 1,440 bottles. Northern Hills FCU staff is also on their way to Lakota FCU with approximately 1,000 bottles of drinking water. Lakota FCU will be distributing the supplies to those in need from their office in Kyle this afternoon.

We sincerely appreciate the efforts and support from our credit union family in the Rapid City area for stepping in and putting the cooperative principles into action so quickly at this time of need,” concluded Olson.

“We are so grateful to CUAD and for the credit unions that are stepping up to help at this time,” added Shayna. “It makes me so proud to be a part of the cooperative movement.”

If you would like to make a contribution to help Lakota FCU at this time, please submit to:

Lakota FCU

Attn: Shayna, Flood Assistance Fund

PO Box 196

Kyle, SD 57752-0196

 

 

 

 

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