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A road washed out by flooding in the Midwest. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pine Ridge Reservation residents were stranded without water and the South Dakota Army National Guard activated to help Monday, after flooding washed out a county rural water line and a humanitarian crisis continued to unfold.

Why it matters: An enormous amount of flooding caused by a blizzard and then melting snow has devastated the usually dry region over the past 2 weeks. It is one of many places in the Midwest to be impacted by deadly flooding, which prompted President Trump to approve a disaster declaration for parts of Nebraska and Iowa. But as some regions slowly begin to recover, the remote reservation remains in crisis.

The latest: The South Dakota Army National Guard said Monday that Gov. Kristi Noem activated about 15 of its members to distribute water to Pine Ridge Reservation communities. Rep. Peri Pourier told NPR water levels "seem to be stabilizing and declining on Pine Ridge," but temperatures of 65°F were forecast for the area Tuesday and officials were preparing for possibly more flooding.

  • The water level at the swelling Big Sioux River at Dell Rapid had reached just under 16 feet, according to the Argus Leader. It was set to rise another 2 feet by Thursday.
  • Noem visited Eagle Butte and White Horse Monday to see the impact of the floods. "The rising water is eroding infrastructure and stranding wildlife," she said. "There's a lot of work to be done here."
  • The Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief has been established to combat the crisis.

The big picture: Much of the region remains inaccessible. Pourier told the Daily Republic the only way to send supplies to the Grass Creek community, more than 10 miles from a main highway, was on horseback. Officials for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which administers the reservation, told the New York Times they didn't have the training, personnel or equipment needed to deal with the crisis.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

1 hour ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.