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Water Covers Many Roads In Edmunds County

April 4, 2011, 9:52 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Water Covers Many Roads In Edmunds County
EDMUNDS COUNTY, SD - Water is rising during the melt in Edmunds County.  It came up suddenly over the weekend.  And it's reached a point where people are almost cut off from their homes.

On the other side of a highway threatened by rising water, then a back road completely under and eventually leading to a driveway washing out as well, you'll find Norman Hettich's home.

"My family's been in this area 100 years and nobody has seen the water this high," Hettich said.

There used to be several roads leading to the Hettich farm. After flooding last year, only one of those was above water. Now that one's under too.

In fact, several roads are flooding. Between Ipswich and Bowdle, the highway superintendent says basically every county road has water on it.

Even U.S. Highway 12 has a stretch under water in the western part of the county. The Department of Transportation is controlling traffic in that area because only one lane is open.

Meanwhile, the county highway crews are pumping water from threatened or flooded roads.

"We're just working seven days a week and trying to keep on top of things," Edmunds County Emergency Manager Leland Treichel said.

Back by the Hettich farm, water is still rising and there's nowhere for it to flow from here.

The county and township will try to pump water from another water logged road to open at least one route home. There's no saying how long that will take or if it'll even work. But it certainly beats waiting for the water to drop on its own.

"In 1997 when we had roads go under, they were under for years before they came out," Hettich said.

It'll still be days this year even if the pumping works. And Hettich figures it won't be long before he'll only have access to and from home by tractor.

In the western part of the county, there aren't streams that flow away. The sloughs are filling up so there's no saying when the floodwater will go down.

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