Flood waters drench South Dakota

Published: Mar. 15, 2019 at 10:04 PM CDT
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Friday night, many are worried about river levels, including the Missouri.

"We dropped down from 100,000 earlier this morning and we plan to hold 90,000 through today into tomorrow morning, when we will start decreasing the discharge," said Division Chief John Remus, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

When the Spencer Dam broke along the Niobrara River Thursday, there was little that could be done upstream to reduce the amount of water heading that way.

"The Gavins Point pool has a very small amount of flood control storage. So, the amount of water that came out of the Niobrara River basin and other tributaries there at Gavins Point there wasn't a lot of prep we could do," said Remus.

But, Remus wants everyone to know more than one factor played into the flooding we're seeing now.

"This a flood that is really generated by heavy rains on top of a substantial snow pack that is on top of frozen soil. So, just three things that really add to the run-off," said Remus.

The Yankton County Emergency Management made sure they were ready before the storm hit.

"We actually opened up on Wednesday morning about 10 o'clock when we start seeing Maren Creek here in Yankton start rising. We had reports from the highway department that it was coming over roads and stuff like that," said Paul Scherschligt, Yankton County Emergency Management.

Now crews are working to cleanup and assess the damage done to roads throughout the county.

"The rest of us will be working on any other areas in the county that may still, we have a lot of flooding, gavel roads underwater. We got some towns with a couple streets that got water over them or passable," said Scherschligt.

Now all of this water will continue to move downstream

"There's a lot of people experiencing flooding downstream from Gavins Point, particularly downstream of Sioux City and that's going to last for several days," said Remus.

County crews are hopeful that water levels will go down in the coming days.

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