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March 18, 2011 06:06 PM

Montrose Residents Preparing For Worst

Montrose, SD

The Vermillion River near Montrose is starting to seep into town, flooding basements and putting sump pumps to work.

McCook County Emergency Management says the east Vermillion River rose about six to eight inches Thursday night. And while the river has yet to crest, it slightly receded Friday morning. That still has residents bracing for the worst, but preparing for it like any other year.

"So far, it hasn't been too bad," Montrose resident Forrest Sanner said.

Even with multiple hoses emptying water from the basements to the streets, residents on First Avenue in Montrose say they're ready for anything.

"I've got a couple of sump pumps standing by," Montrose resident Bob Lounsbery said. "I've got everything plugged in the basement, so the sewer can't get in."

Despite high waters, you can tell from the marks on these trees the levels went down this morning. And homeowners say any relief is a good sign.

"It's not as bad as last summer when we had the Vermillion River up into our driveway," Sanner said.

Residents say even though rising water levels are always a concern, based on their experiences, they're trying to stay calm.

"You try not to worry too much because then, what else can you do?" Sanner said. "You really can't do much and so you just try to do the steps that you can."

Homeowners say, even right now, the water levels don't compare to last year's fall flooding. And while their experience has taught them to stay calm, it's also shown them what the river can do.

"I'm pretty well prepared and I think everyone here is," Lounsbery said.

"After the last flood, you start preparing for the next one," Sanner said.

McCook County Emergency Management says they've gathered historical data over the years to get a better idea of how the Vermillion River will operate. That way, they can pinpoint any future problem areas near town.

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