With the mission of support for the water protectors making a dramatic shift, the supplies of drones, cameras, satellite comms, gas masks, and protective gear was largely unusable.
Wood and Diggs spent most of the time that day picking up and delivering supplies to veteran rally points while trying to solve problems associated with a massive, hastily-planned event. Then they hit another snag: a surprise blizzard struck, starting the evening of 5 December 2016.
While Wood's trouble-shooting efforts were severely hampered by a lack of telecommunication, the group had anticipated the poor signal in the area of the encampment and had purchased a satellite phone to compensate. But the blizzard knocked the phone out, Wood said:
The previous storm ruined our supply chain, delaying critical deliveries. The surprise blizzard [on 5 December 2016] meant that a bunch of veterans prepared physically and mentally to protect the water protectors, had to instantly shift into an emergency response team.
With roads shut down by police and many of our vehicles still lost in snow banks, over 50% of the buses from a $200,000 contract broke down or were severely damaged.
Vacated cars that slid off icy roads punctuated the landscape as authorities closed thoroughfares. Wood, along with hundreds of others, was temporarily stranded at the nearby Prairie Nights Casino and Resort in Fort Yates after the Yukon went into a snow ditch. He was unable to reach Clark, and due to a communications break-down, some arriving veterans had headed for the camp when they weren't supposed to go there until 5 December, meaning when the blizzard hit, many were stranded outside when they shouldn't have been there in the first place. The setbacks didn't stop Wood and a host of volunteers, from medical doctors and nurses to drivers, from launching a massive rescue mission.*