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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

Updated 45 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.