Water is running high and flooding is becoming a real problem in many areas of the southern Black Hills.
From Mt. Rushmore to Hill City to Keystone tourists are being warned to use extreme caution while traveling through the Black Hills.
The Black Hills has been inundated with moisture. The area has picked up 2 to 3 inches of rain the past couple of days and that’s on top of 1 to 2 feet of snow last week.
All that water is creating dangerous driving conditions just as tourism season is getting underway.
Several Pennington County roads are closed, including Melody Lane where evacuations have been underway Tuesday due to rising water.
Rapid City firefighter Jim Bussell took to Facebook live to keep people informed of the quickly changing conditions.
“We want you to stay tuned to social media, Pennington County’s Emergency Manager’s Facebook page and our Facebook page and we will have information about where evacuees can go, The Pennington County Emergency Operations Center is being established and they are working to get sheltering locations set up,” Bussell said.
The tourist town of Keystone near Mount Rushmore has major flooding, as well.
“There’s a lot of flooding and a lot of water nothing is over the road yet in Keystone yet, but we want to make sure if you come to Keystone you’re very careful,” Captain Tony Harrison said.
If you’re traveling to see Mt. Rushmore, authorities are urging you to use caution because part of Highway 16A is underwater.
“You can also see how high it’s running across the bridge, so again make sure if you come to the area be very cautious, a lot of driveways and everything else are underwater,” Harrison said.
If there is water across the road, they’re asking people to turn around and don’t drown and it’s not just tourists who are being advised to use caution.
“If you’re inside your house and bored and want to get out, please do something else than get out, because we don’t need you to become the emergency for us to have first responders get pulled away from dealing with this,” Harrison said.
A couple of other reasons they’re asking people to slow down while traveling through the Black Hills is because, water may not be over the road, but rocks are also falling in some areas and hydroplaning is also possible.