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Pierre Still Fixing Flood Damage

July 20, 2012, 7:09 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Pierre Still Fixing Flood Damage
PIERRE, SD -

It's been a very dry year but flooding is still on the mind of city leaders in Pierre because they're still repairing some of the flood damage from last year.

Road construction near downtown Pierre is just one project in the works. It was supposed to be done last year but flood repair pushed it back. Fixing flood damage is also taking time out of this year’s work.

"We're getting a good start, some of the most obvious issues such as the sink holes have been filled, repaired and patched over," city operations manager Lynn Patton said.

But Patton says there's still pipe work to complete, not to mention the regular work scheduled last year that was interrupted by the flood.

While some projects are now moving forward, others have taken a back seat. And of course there's an ongoing effect as work is pushed back year after year. It could be several years before the city is caught up.

"Easily five years,” Patton said. “We've got some large storm sewer pipe replacement to be done or repair."

The city has authorized some projects but others are essentially waiting in line for a gap to open in a future city budget.

"These flood related projects are large; they're large diameter. They require bigger equipment that the city crews normally have available to them to work on. And the materials are extremely costly," Patton said.

Some projects have been approved for FEMA reimbursement but Patton says others are still in the process. Even with the Missouri River back in its banks, the city faces continuous reminders of the stretch of time last year when it wasn't.

Patton says crews haven't been delayed this year because there's been little rain. But they also haven't made up much time either.

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