Flooded Streets Pose High-Water Hazards

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Governor Kristi Noem is preparing an emergency declaration to help South Dakota communities recover from the blizzard and flooding.

You’ve probably come across streets and parks that are underwater.  City leaders want the message to sink in that you shouldn’t try to drive through that standing water.

There’s been a shortage of barricades in Sioux Falls because of so many street closures.  But there’s no shortage of drivers ignoring those barricades and getting stranded in the high water.

“Don’t drive around those barricades, don’t drive through those flooded intersections,”  Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith said.

The City is urging all drivers to use caution and common sense when they encounter water on the roads.  The best route is avoiding flooded streets altogether.

A plea to homeowners to cut back on their water usage is taking some of the strain off the city’s wastewater system.  The conservation effort has led to a 2-million gallon reduction from peak water usage.

“Any of that space in the system really helps if people can extend that now through the end of the day Friday that would provide a significant benefit to us,” Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.

City leaders say crews are getting a handle on responding to water-related emergencies.   But they’ve been in contact with the state in case additional resources are needed.

“When you’re texting and talking with the governor on that level, it’s a big event for the city,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

Governor Noem has ordered the opening of the Emergency Operations Center in Pierre to coordinate the state response.

To report flooded streets, contact the City of Sioux Falls at 367-7000.  To report a sewer backup in your home, call 367-8188.

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