Madison, South Dakota is one of the hardest cities hit by the flooding.
Dozens of people were rescued Thursday morning when the creek running through town turned into a river.
The town has seen flooding before, but several locals say this is as bad as it gets.
You can see and hear the force of the water in Madison. It’s the result of nearly nine inches of rain in just three days.
Rescue crews are busy, with front end loaders and boats helping people escape Silver Creek. The Wentworth Fire Department has been manning this corner all morning.
“Off of this corner here, along with Madison fire, they’ve got some Jon Boats out here and they were bringing people in and then we were putting them in the back of the pickup and Madison ambulance was transporting them over the the armory where they were finding shelter over there. We’ve had quite a few, I would guess 15 or 20,” Terry Reck from Wentworth Fire Rescue said.
But some people were content to just wait for the water to go down.
“There’s still some die hards that are sitting out on their porch taking in the scenery, having a cup of coffee, but everybody seems to be alright now,” Reck said.
Mark Eben and Roy Lindsay are life long residents. Both say this flood is as bad as anything they’ve ever seen.
“I remember, I think it was like in 1962 standing here with my dad and we floated houses then,” Mark Eben said.
“This has been the worst flood that we’ve had since 1993,” Roy Lindsay said.
Thursday morning, Eben helped someone escape from a house.
“Main thing is from what I understand, everyone is safe. no fatalities and that’s really what it’s all about, keeping everyone safe.” Eben said.
Lindsay, who is a former mayor, says the city made several improvements in the waterway that kept this flood from being worse.
“Behind me used to be a a flower shop and the city purchased that while I was mayor moving it out of the floodway. You can see that now the flood water can move through that area easier and quicker.”
Lindsay says he’s proud to see fire rescue and city employees in action. Like this man who had to wade out to the wastewater treatment plant. But Lindsay does have this warning.
“Do not walk into the water. You don’t know if the ground underneath has been washed away and you also don’t realize the amount of power water has when it’s moving. It takes very little to take you off your feet and then once you’re on the ground, the current has control,” Lindsay said.