After about a month of flooding, area leaders are giving signs of hope we’re finally through the worst of it. The City of Sioux Falls is about to open most of Falls Park in about a minute. However, some areas and parks are still closed, so if you see barricades, stay away from them. Crews are also reopening a few miles of the bike trail. They’re also showing us how homeowners can get back to normal and ditch piles of sandbags surrounding their properties.
As much as Steve Starnes loves his south central Sioux Falls home, the odds aren’t stacked in his favor every time it rains a lot.
“We had water back to the corner of our house,“ Starnes said.
So, he stacked up more than a few good luck charms. He loved the more than 400 sandbags he used when he needed them.
“Now, not so much, because I’ve got to get rid of them,“ Starnes said.
Many other homeowners are in the same boat.
“Now the big question. What do we do with all the sandbags?“ Chad Huwe, City Engineer, said.
The City of Sioux Falls is opening several sandbag drop-off locations. City leaders say the Big Sioux River flows peaked a few days ago, and they’re still monitoring the levees.
“Basically the expectation is we’ve gotten through the peak. The waters are receding. The levee system performed excellently,“ Andy Berg, City of Sioux Falls Environmental/Storm Water Manager, said.
At a briefing Friday, Public Works Director Mark Cotter says we got lucky with a slow melt, but is giving a lot of credit to local agencies and first responders.
“When something bad happens, there’s a lot of really good resources at the federal, state, county and city level that come together,“ Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works, said.
As the sands of time slip away, and we move on the from the flood, Starnes wouldn’t mind a few extra hands to move his 400 plus sandbags.
“Hoping to get some help, yes. The Honda only handles about 25 sandbags a trip,“ Starnes said.
Huwe says you can either keep your sandbags for future floods, or you can drop them off at one of three sites. They are at Sherman, Riverdale and Tomar Parks. The drop off sites open Saturday at 8 a.m.