Big Sioux River levels already raising concerns

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With more snow in the forecast, fears are beginning to pile-up about what’s going to happen this spring with flooding.

It’s mid-January and 3 degrees outside and the Big Sioux River is flowing at record levels. But before we can look ahead we have to consider where we’ve been.

Take a look at this home video that was shot by Darrin Ihnen and his wife who farm down by Hurley.

This was last spring. Their farmyard was flooded in three to four feet of water and so was there front yard. Ihnen says his land was so wet last year he never planted a single acre of corn or soybeans.

“Last spring we flooded bad, ice, and all that and I told my wife I said ‘it’s never been this bad, it’ll l never get this bad again,'” Darrin said.

But KELOLAND News recently sat down with State Climatologist, Mike Gillispie with the National Weather Service and he says we could have a repeat of 2018 and 2019, which were both record years of moisture.

“Basically we were starting things out late fall into the winter, wetter than we’ve been ever on record, as far as the water tables higher than it’s been, the rivers are higher than normal, soil moisture is saturated just yet we don’t have any room to store any water right now as we head into the spring,” Gillispie said.

Gillispie says right now we are two to three feet above normal with moisture for this time of year and that could be a big problem.

He says the next two to three months are going to be telling. We’ll have much more on the potential of widespread flooding coming up on Sunday night on Eye on KELOLAND.

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