Officials Give Update on Sioux Falls Area Flooding
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – City officials gave an update on flooding in the Sioux Falls area at Thursday’s morning police briefing.
Mayor Paul TenHaken is asking residents to be patient through this time as officials are working to lower flood waters.
“A key message that I just wanted to send throughout this is patience, we need a lot of patience right now,” says TenHaken. “With patience will come safety.”
Meteorologist In-Charge at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, Todd Heitkamp, says they are seeing historic flooding in some parts of the area. Skunk Creek is at the second highest level in the area following the Big Sioux River near Western Avenue. The river stage in that area is at 17.1 feet as of Thursday morning, breaking the record of 16.01 feet set in June 1957. Heitkamp says the forecasted snowfall shouldn’t impact flooding.
The Environmental Storm Water Manager, Andy Berg, says when the river levels are this high the city’s outfall flap gates are closed to prevent water from draining back into flooded areas. The negative to this is that the pipes are closed and aren’t allowing the water to drain into the river. Crews are working with pumps around the city to clear roadways and other flooded areas.
Minnehaha Sheriff’s Captian Jason Gearman with Minnehaha Emergency Management says they have conducted and are continuing to conduct water rescues in the area. They are helping people out of their homes and stranded motorists who drove into flooded streets. He is asking drivers to respect barricades and to avoid flooded areas.
Mark Cotter with public works is asking residents to call the non-emergency number at 367-7000 to report any flooded streets.
Officials are also asking residents to limit water usage through Friday. Water usage could overload the system and cause water to back up into homes. They are asking residents to hold off running dishwashers, doing laundry, and limiting shower time, this could help your neighbors.
The city says it is important to ensure sump pumps are draining outside your home. It is illegal to attach sump pumps to floor drains.