Rivers To Rise Again After Latest Winter Storm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Mike Gillispie at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls has been a busy man over the last month. He is the head hydrologist, and monitors the levels and forecasts of our rivers.

Our latest winter storm is going re-swell our rivers that have receded just a bit.

“As temperatures starting warming up again next week, that snow melt is going to start kicking in again, and probably by late next week or next weekend we’ll be seeing crests hitting the Big Sioux again”, said Gillispie.

What happened in the middle of March is unlikely to happen again to that severity. There is one major factor behind this not being as intense.

“The fact that the soils have thawed, they’re still very wet, very saturated, so they’re not going to hold as much moisture as they would. But they’re going to be able to at least, soak up some of that moisture that we didn’t see happen back in march when they were frozen”, he said.

Gillispie also said that we need to go a fair amount of time without a significant rainfall event. River levels could reach dangerous levels again if we have the rain, on top of the snow melt, all at once.

He says the James River is most likely going to deal with major impacts, longer. This is because the James River is so flat.

“It’s basically just a big lake, it doesn’t go up or down very fast, we’re going to see river levels continue to go up and continued major impacts up there for at least several weeks if not several months”, said Gillispie.

The quickest cure to our flooding problems is going to be the summer time heat, along with the summer time dry air.

If you would like to see what the river stages are like nearest to you, here is the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls Hydrology page: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=fsd

The National Weather Service in Aberdeen Hydrology page can be found here: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=abr

Continue to abide by barricades still up in front of some roads. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.

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