Southeastern South Dakota is Working Hard to Clean Up After Last Week’s Disasters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – “It’s taken a while for us to actually get into some of the stuff,” says Parks Operations Manager Kelby Mieras.

The recovery effort is noticeable across southeast South Dakota. The two disasters back to back, have made clean up problematic, including those in Sioux Falls.

“The flooding kind of added insult to injury, a lot of the parks that saw some significant tree damage are also some of the parks that are flooded now too. So, it’s going to take a while.” Mieras also says one way they’re tackling the cleanup, is having workers from other Sioux Falls parks lend a hand. “So employees that are assigned to other park areas that didn’t see any damage, jumped right in to help in the parks that did receive damage.”

That tactic also helped first responders in the area, according to Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Jason Gearman. “Each fire department helps out another, they’re not able to get west of Baltic, so they have to rely on maybe Crooks, or maybe Colton, so, there’s a lot of inner workings that go on behind the scenes that make that happen.”

Gearman says one thing people can do to help, as floodwaters recede, “we still advise people if there’s water still going over the roads. Please, don’t go through it. you don’t know what’s underneath it. A lot of gravel roads are going to be washed out, similar to where they were in the spring.”

The same goes for parks, Mieras explains. “Definitely ask people to respect the barricades. The barricades are in place for their safety. You come upon a barricade it’s because there’s something beyond the barricade. It’s not a situation that we want you in.”

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