Yankton County Roads Still In Tough Shape

YANKTON COUNTY, S.D.- It has been a little over a month since flooding from the snow melt rattled the KDLT viewing area. Fast forward to today, and rural roads in Yankton County still are travel not advised.

Even for some folks who live on these roads, they still cannot make it home with their vehicles.

“To some degree there are stories of folks who have to park on the paved road and walk home, walk a half mile, a mile, carrying groceries,” said Cheri Loest, vice chair for the Yankton County Commission.

Water continues to flow over many roadways, and that means Yankton County officials don’t know the extent of the damage for all of those roads. The timeline to fix them back to normal isn’t being talked about in terms of days, or even weeks.

“You hate to say that we’re, going to be a year or two out, but in some locations it will take that long address. One of our challenges is money, we did not budget for any of this,” said Loest.

County highway officials say the roads are so volatile that their equipment might be heavy enough to cause them to collapse.

They don’t want, or need, to add more roads to the damaged list.

“2400 culverts, approximately 250 miles of asphalt, approximately 250 miles of gravel, 76 bridges, and there’s 16 guys to repair all these damages,” said Mike Sedlacek, superintendent of Yankton County highways.

Yankton county EMS is dealing with the roadway issues as well, but they haven’t been in situation where they haven’t been able to make it to a call yet. They have plans to use any resource necessary.

“All the fire departments in Yankton county, along with search and rescue have rangers, 4 wheel driver rangers that can get us to a call, we’ll use our feet if we need to, but we’ll get there,” said Steve Hawkins, administrator for Yankton County EMS.

Each official said what the area needs most is a hot, dry sun, for a few weeks in a row. They appreciate the patience from Yankton County residents as well.

Yankton County has a web page that is updated daily with road closures and conditions throughout the county. This includes rural and gravel roads as well. You can find the latest information from their interactive map here: http://ims.districtiii.org/closedroads/  


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