Emergency managers waiting for dry spell to fix flood problems

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The emergency may be over, but the trouble is far from over for rural areas still trying to dry out. Emergency managers say they can’t catch a break or enough of a dry spell to fix flood damage. Wednesday’s rain certainly didn’t help. 

Every morning when he wakes up to more rain, Minnehaha County assistant emergency manager Doug Blomker has the same questions. 

“When is it going to stop? When is it going to dry out?” Blomker said. 

County lines may separate Blomker and Lincoln County emergency manager, Harold Timmerman, but they both have a lot in common these days. 

“No, I’ve never seen a year like this before,” Blomker said. “You even talk to some of the old-timers, and they go, we’ve never seen a year like this.”

“This last round just exacerbated everything that’s going on before,” Timmerman said. 

The on-going rain means crews haven’t been able to fix washed out gravel roads like Ditch Road, and fields are still underwater. 

“It’s hurting the families that want to repair the damage in their homes, and we want to fix infrastructure. We have water ponding in fields and stuff. Our farmers need to get out. It’s going to have a long ongoing effect on everybody around here,” Blomker said. 

In Lincoln County, gravel roads are so rough, Timmerman says he’s concerned about emergency crews getting to people who need help. 

“If people do call 911 from a rural area for any reason, make sure they let the dispatch centers know your road may be out of service, and they need to use an alternate route because it may be a matter of life and death,” Timmerman said. 

Blomker says when it comes to how to fix these problems, the answer is clear. However, the question remains, when will it happen? 

“We’re trying to get from point A to point B to point C, but again, it’s all dependent on the rain stopping and letting us dry out for a while,” Blomker said.

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