DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (KELO) — Dozens of communities in eastern KELOLAND are swamped with flood water tonight. People in Dell Rapids are having troubling flashbacks of the spring as the Big Sioux River goes out of its banks.
Authorities are warning that flooding from this week’s rain will be even worse than what they saw in March.
People in Dell Rapids can now pick up sandbags that arrived this afternoon from Sioux Falls. The pickup site is located at the grain elevator at 3rd and Orleans. But sandbags won’t do much good for some homes in town that are already surrounded by water.
The Big Sioux River came up so quickly, that Daydra Fulmer and her family didn’t have time to pack many of their belongings before hopping in a boat and rowing toward dry ground.
“I felt relieved somebody was there to come get us because at that point, water was coming up into the house,” Fulmer said.
Volunteers didn’t wait for any emergency calls for help, they simply rowed into the neighborhood as the water got higher and higher.
“They were trying to get their stuff up and we were trying to get them out. The current is getting faster and faster and rising higher and higher and so if they didn’t get out they were going to end up having to swim or go up to the higher ground,” canoeist Val Heesch said.
The boaters even took Fulmer back so she could retrieve items from her daughter’s house. But it was just the necessities that could fit inside the canoe.
“She lives next-door to us here and she wasn’t able to get anything out of the house. She had no clothes or anything so they agreed to boat me back out there and we got some of her belongings and clothes so she has something to wear,” Fulmer said.
People who live in the neighborhood say this flooding is already worse than what they saw this spring because the water never crept this far up their street before.
“This was an overnight rain, flash flooding, so a lot of these houses are already dealing with flooding inside their residences,” Minnehaha County Sheriff, Mike Milstead said.
Meanwhile, the Fulmers are trying to navigate the uncertainty over what they’ll return home to, once the water finally goes down.
“We’re definitely going to lose a lot of stuff, but I’m hoping we all made it out and we’re all safe and that’s my main concern,” Fulmer said.
Minnehaha County sheriff’s deputies are leaving fliers at homes in Dell Rapids telling them how long the flooding will likely last and what they can do to find shelter.