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Officials: Worst Fall Flooding for South Dakota



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After extreme flooding this past weekend in Renner, the worst of it may be over. Renner's fire chief says the water levels of the Big Sioux River are expected to hold for about another day, then start to drop.
This flooding is the worst the state has ever seen for this time of year.

Standing and watching-it's now the only thing left for Lynn Gilmore to do, as flood waters rush across her home and property.

Lynn has lived in Renner for the past 29 years and she says this extreme fall flooding is a first.

"Never. We've had them in the spring, in the summer, but this is our first fall flood," Lynn Gilmore, Renner Resident.

And Lynn is not alone. Renner's Fire Chief, Mike Schmitz, has been with the department for the past 30 years and has never seen anything like this.

"You just don't think about having a fall flood, but with the ground saturated as it has been all summer and river full, then you get several inches of rain north of us, its got to go somewhere and we're in its path," said Mike Schmitz, Renner's Fire Chief.

Folks in Renner says flooding is nothing new, its the time of year of this flood that's unique. Instead of water rushing through open fields, its now coming through crops.

"Usually we can see it coming. We can see it rolling across the field and this way it just snuck through the corn," said Gilmore.

Making this the worst flooding Southeastern South Dakota has ever seen for this time of year.

"To have this magnitiude of flooding in September and October I don't know if we have ever had it," said Mike Gillispie, Hydrologist for National Weather Service. "This is more typical of what we would see in the snow melt and ice jam flooding in the spring," said Gillispie.

So now all Lynn and her neighbors can do is wait it out.

"We should move out, but we'll move on. We'll go through another one I'm sure," said Gilmore.

Making this a true first for the residents of Renner. Mike Gillispie with the National Weather Service expects the water levels to continue to drop over the next two to three days.
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