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Waubay Lakes Still Flooding

June 15, 2010, 5:27 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Waubay Lakes Still Flooding
WAUBAY, SD - Sunny days are what people in Waubay are hoping for - a lot of sunny days. Sandbags still surround homes along Blue Dog Lake on the north end of town, and Bitter Lake is still rising to the south.

There was some good news for a change along Blue Dog Lake. It went down two to four inches. But with more than two inches of rain recently, the progress has basically been a wash. There's no saying for sure when life will return to normal along Blue Dog Lake, whatever normal is anymore.

"I'm sure it'll be a few months though," Derek Sinner said.

Sinner has been fighting the flood around his home a few months already.

"Well, I’ve got to put my hip boots on and tread through the water to get to my car which is parked in front of the neighbor's house because I can't even get up to my house anymore. The road's under water," Sinner said.

Neighbors join him in cringing when storm clouds roll in, something they've seen too much of lately. The wet weather has put a damper on the dropping lake levels they'd observed just one week ago.

The outlook for people on Bitter Lake south of town is bleak. Without a place for the water to go, its levels continue to rise. Many families have already been flooded out, and the threat is growing as groundwater flows into more basements.

Back along Blue Dog, Sinner has surrounded his cabin with sandbags and has a sump pump running around the clock.

"So far that's been keeping the water out of the house, but there've been days the water's gotten pretty high to the bottom and just about inside," Sinner said.

He and many others along the lake are long past sick of the flooding. But Blue Dog should eventually drop. Those along Bitter Lake don't have the same guarantee.

Flooding on Bitter Lake threatened Waubay's main sewer lift station. But the city now has a new one up and running, which takes some pressure off the old one surrounded by flood water.

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