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Ice Jam Flooding Out White River

March 16, 2011, 9:58 PM by Austin Hoffman

Ice Jam Flooding Out White River
WHITE RIVER, SD - Sunday night a massive ice jam along the White River, south of Murdo, caused floodwater to pour over Highway 83, prompting authorities to close a portion of that road. While the jam has partially broken up, plenty of damage is left behind.

A once fairly peaceful river has now turned into a nearly mile wide monster.

Lester Krogman's home is one of the hardest hit. He said it started in February when temperatures were in the 70’s for a week. But it's an ice jam that's now causing major problems.

"About 4 o'clock yesterday I got a call saying it was rising up into the trailer house about three foot deep. It's still that deep," Krogman said.

And with that much water in his home, nothing is like it once was.

"Everything inside is floating belly up. The TV, refrigerator," Krogman said.

As the ice packed in at the bridge along Highway 83, it caused water to pour over the road around it. But as it broke up, levels receded, only to cause a massive jam farther down stream.

A washed out area of there river is where Oleta Medansky believes a water main is broken, causing even more problems for her and her neighbors.

"We have to haul water for everything. For the bathroom, for the shower, for, I mean we won't be able to shower till we fix it," Medansky said.

The water hasn't yet reached her home, but they've stacked sandbags in preperation. But even that probably wouldn't have helped Krogman.

With the only road to his home completely under water, the only way to get there now is by boat.

"Motor it in, motor it out what we got to get out," Krogman said.

And with no flood insurance, for him, it's a total loss.

"It's just a sad feeling. Been there for 17 years and its all up and gone in just a matter of hours. It’s pretty tough, you know. But we'll be alright; we'll rebuild her, start over. That’s all we can do," Krogman said.

With more ice still packing onto what's already here, nobody knows what the future may hold. But, when Krogman rebuilds this summer, it'll be on higher ground.

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