Red Cross puts those in need first

Hurricane tragedies in Texas have rallied Americans to step up and reach out to help on another. That is a wonderful American trait. Unfortunately, negative stories have surfaced about the American Red Cross and the percentage of administrative costs that come out of donations.

I can't speak for every Red Cross chapter, but I have had the good fortune to work with the local Red Cross in western South Dakota. Executive Director Richard Smith and his entire staff work tirelessly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are ready at a moment’s notice to deliver aid throughout western South Dakota. The team works so hard to recruit and support an army of volunteers, who are the heart of the Red Cross.

So when you hear negative comments about the Red Cross, instead of listening to the chatter, get to know your local Red Cross team. They are committed to their community and they are as unselfish as they come. No, better yet, volunteer because they are not in it for the money. They are in it to serve, and they could use the help.

Tim Reilly

Rapid City

Epic flooding could occur here, too

The Houston floods made me remember this bit of history of the Black Hills, from the book “Roadside Geology of South Dakota.” We may get some surprises in the future.

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"Extending fanlike into the Red Valley from the mouths of Stagebarn, Little Elk, and Big Elk Canyons are broad boulder fields, souvenirs of great floods on these drainages. Many of the boulders are as much as 3 feet in diameter, though a few may reach a length of 10 feet...

“Variations in depth of weathering of similar boulders in successive ridges and the extent to which lichens cover the rock show that the floods happened over a long time. No flood in historic times has approached the energy of these earlier floods. At a minimum, they were the kind of floods that come once in a century, or more probably, once in 500 or 1,000 years." — “Roadside Geology of South Dakota” by John Paul Gries, pages 238-9.

We would be wise to keep this in mind and be prepared for flooding in our own back yard.

Jeff Jacobsen

Rapid City

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