Rick Weiland and Hurricane Sandy


Rick Weiland, the only Democratic candidate so far for the South Dakota seat in the U.S. Senate up for election in 2014, isued a news release today blasting the national news media for not giving more news coverage to last weekend’s blizzard across western South Dakota and parts of neighboring states. I happened to check The New York Times edition from last Sunday that I received in the mail this week, and the storm received a story at the bottom of a page in the main news section. I also noted last weekend that National Public Radio on its newscasts talked about the storm (if memory is correct, in one instance, I heard a national report by SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray). I will acknowledge that through the years I’ve felt at times that winter storms in South Dakota deserved more national coverage. But… I wouldn’t go as far as Rick did today when he declared:

We just had our ‘Sandy’ out here in Western South Dakota and ranching families have been completely abandoned.”

It’s true, a lot of ranch families lost a lot of cattle. Their losses will be compounded, because not only did they lose calves, they’ll need to replace the cows that produced the calves. A good cow is worth a lot of future money in calves. Thousands of people lost electricity and many are still without power. A lot of tree branches are busted off. But putting the storm on the same level as Hurricane Sandy? That is a big reach. Damage in the United States alone from the hurricane was estimated at $65 billion. Congress approved relief of $50.5 billion. A total of 256 people reportedly died along the hurricane’s route through the Caribbean and up the Atlantic coast. I don’t mean to minimize in any way the damage and suffering from the blizzard. I just don’t think it was anything close to Hurricane Sandy — and for that I am thankful.

  1. #1 by interested party on October 11, 2013 - 3:35 pm

    Agreed: let them eat shutdown.

    • #2 by interested party on October 11, 2013 - 3:39 pm

      For a fraction of what rebuilding after Sandy the feds could buy out the West River cattle industry and build a portion of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

      Rewild the West.

  2. #3 by polly politic on October 11, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    The impact on the people affected by this storm equals the impact on the individual people affected by Sandy. Basically we are fly-over country, and neither coast cares too much about us out here, and since the news headquarters are in NY and CA, they don’t either. Tornadoes are covered for days. This should be better reported.

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