RENNER, SD -
The water is going down in Renner, but the small town remains virtually empty because most of it is still underwater.
They help to serve and protect the small town of Renner. And now that the floodwaters are finally receding, the Renner Fire Department can finally come back home.
"It's just kind of a waiting game, you know?" Renner Fire Chief Mike Schmitz said.
After four days, the Renner Fire Department has returned to the station.
"Yesterday afternoon, we took the barricades down in front of half of the station and got trucks back in and put away," Schmitz said.
Rising water forced the department to move their machinery to higher ground last weekend. But crews left a few good men behind.
"Some of the guys have been down here manning the station to make sure it stays dry and answering the phone," Schmitz said.
The station may be back open for business but the building is still surrounded by water. Even though the floodwaters are receding, the town of Renner is still basically off-limits to drivers. The main road thru town is still underwater and the current is still fairly strong.
Many residents moved-out before the water came rolling into Renner last weekend.
"And Saturday morning we met and sat up and looked at Silver Creek and looked at the river and I said it's time we start," Schmitz said.
Inmates helped residents fill and stack 19,000 sandbags before the Big Sioux and Silver Creek merged just north of town.
"It looks pretty bad but as far as we know, none of the homes got water on their main floor. The basements and crawl spaces are obviously filled," Schmitz said.
And with another 5,000 sand bags on reserve, this small town will be ready when the river rises again.
Officials warn drivers to stay off the road until the water is gone. Driving around the barricades could result in a $120 fine.
© 2010 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.