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Heavy Rains Flood Edmunds County

July 14, 2009, 6:07 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Heavy Rains Flood Edmunds County
Overnight rain fell faster than the water could flow away in Edmunds County starting late Monday. That's leaving even more South Dakotans struggling with rising water.

"There's a lot of work to do," Darwin Rohrbach said.

Water is over roads and leaving washed out stretches where it's subsided. Rohrbach works for the highway department and was afraid there'd be damage when he got up Tuesday morning. He didn't realize how bad it would be.

"Just flagging all the soft spots and the water standing on the roads and making sure there's nothing really bad," Rohrbach said.

Along with gravel off the roads, crews have already found at least one sinkhole over a culvert that couldn't keep up and will have to be replaced this fall.

Some farmers in Edmunds County have seen better days too.

"I cut it two days ago and now everything's under water," Bruce Opp said.

Opp had been waiting to cut a low spot in his alfalfa field because it was a little wet. Now the windrows of hay are floating and unsalvageable. He figures he would have had another 30 bales.

"It's a bad deal. Too much rain is not good," Opp said.

Some corn and beans are sitting in water but Opp thinks those crops will be okay for the most part.

But as water flows quickly through Edmunds County, crews caring for the roads can't say the same.

"It's going to take probably a couple weeks to get these roads back in shape again," Rohrbach said.

They are still finding all the damaged spots. The days of fixing ahead are looking to be numerous.

With winter wheat harvest coming up, the county's priority is now getting the roads up to par for harvest trucks to use them.

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