Strong Winds Create Flooding Concerns at Lake Poinsett

LAKE POINSETT, S.D.-It’s been a tough couple weeks for folks at Lake Poinsett. They’ve dealt with rain and flooding and now they’re being hit again by mother nature. Strong winds are creating big waves on the lake. Some of the waves are crashing hard against shorelines. A big concern right now for residence is protecting homes and businesses.

A local excavating company has been out trying to fix weak shorelines around the lakeside community. That way they can try to minimize damage that can be done by waves.

“It eats the shore line and in some cases right up to the home and it eats the foundation up and people can lose their homes,” said Dan Drew with Hurley Excavation.

Calls are coming in non-stop from homeowners that need help.

“7 days a week. We haven’t had a true day off in a month in a half,” said Drew.

However, the crew won’t stop working until the wind stops because if water does get past the shoreline:

“It straight up undermines the whole foundation. It knocks out windows, it tears up siding. They’re brutal. They’re extremely powerful. You have to see it to understand how powerful they really are,” said Drew.

Unfortunately that is the reality for one lakeside house. Water pushed through the windows flooding the entire home. It’s a concerning scene for the Richards who live next door.

“Well it’s nerve racking, makes me feel like I have an ulcer sometimes,” said Judy Richards.

“Especially watching our neighbors crash and burn,” said Lowell Richards.

They’re hoping their cabin survives. Right now they’ve only had minor flooding.

“It [The waves] definitely is hitting the house,” said Lowell.

“ You can hear it. We’re just thankful we sandbagged as much as we did and as early as we did,” said Judy.

Since 1961 the Richards have been through several floods, but say this one is the biggest.

“It’s just wild, wild being in the middle of the lake when we’re supposed to be hundreds of feet away from it,” said Judy.

Now all the Richards and everyone else near the lake can do is wait.

“You can’t do anything. Mother nature will do what she wants,” said Judy.

A steady wind of 25 to 30 miles an hour is bad enough, but wind gusts up to 45 were really pushing the waves around Tuesday afternoon.


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