Dell Rapids dealing with aftermath of flooding

Local News

DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (KELO) – Almost two weeks ago — homes near the Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids were filled with water. Now that flooding has gone down, homeowners are left with a lot to clean up.

A lot has changed over a week and a half. Not that long ago, many of these homes had water surrounding them.

Darla Lamb has lived in Dell Rapids for 10 years. She says there was over four feet of water in her basement.

“I’ve been through three floods, 2009, 2010, and now this one and this one would maybe top them all, water came into my basement, but not as badly as some people have experienced,” resident, Darla Lamb said.

“The city experienced a record flood of the Big Sioux River, floodwaters came up very fast, folks didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, to remove items out of their homes,” city administrator, Justin Weiland said.

Weiland says many homes on the north side of the Big Sioux River were affected; however there were some on the south side.

“There’s people that are cleaning out valuables, furniture, carpet, flooring, sheet rock, all the stuff that was damaged in their home,” Weiland said.

With water reaching the first level of some homes, Weiland says the city will have to assess homes for substantial damage.

“If the damages to the property exceed 50% of that value, FEMA puts those in the category of substantial damage, FEMA allows for three things to happen to that home that have been deemed substantially damaged, and you can either tear the home down, pick up the home and move it outside of the flood plain, or elevate it above the flood plain,” Weiland said.

Weiland says the city is helping homeowners figure out what to do next.

Lamb says she’s just thankful for help from the community.

“What a great group, they had immediate shelter for people that were flooded out and places for them to have short term or long term stays, lot of help,” Lamb said.

Weiland says the city of Dell Rapids is a member of the National Flood Insurance Policy so the city is in charge of carrying out the regulations of FEMA.

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