Flash flooding triggered by heavy rain is causing a lot of problems across south eastern KELOLAND Thursday night.
Right now, Interstate 90 is closed from Sioux Falls to Plankinton.
Flood water has consumed many communities, forcing people out of their homes and businesses.
Tom Patzer has seen many things in his 38 years as the owner of Patzer Woodworking,
But this is something different.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. Never seen this much water. I mean, our building doesn’t sit low. It’s just a matter of 8 inches of rain in a really short period of time,” Tom Patzer, owenr of Patzer Woodworking said.
A little over a foot of water flooded into his store overnight. Trapping equipment, cabinets, cupboards and many materials, but it didn’t stop there.
“Things in our showroom, as you saw, got pretty much ruined, but, you know, the showroom doesn’t belong to anyone else, it belongs to us,” Patzer said.
Even more valuable is his daughter in-law Amanda. She was here with her friend Stacey, around 10 when the flooding began.
“We noticed there was water coming in through some of the walls on the front of the building, and my husband was calling me saying, ‘You need to get home! You need to get home!,” Amanda Patzer said.
“It got pretty scary, and then when she took a video of a pontoon floating down our front driveway, I mean, it was 18 inches deep,” Ryan Patzer said.
“There was standing water across the entire square footage of this building,” Amanda Patzer said.
They eventually made it next door to a church after trudging through water that was up to their waist.
“It was terrifying. There was rushing water, it was lightning, we didn’t know what kind of terrain we were walking across and… it was horrifying,” Amanda Patzer said.
Even more horrifying, is the uncertain fate of this family-owned business.
“The business means a lot. It’s been here for 38 years. It’s been a part of my life for about 15 years. And it will be a part of the rest of my life, me and my wife, and it’s a little tough. So, I guess we’ll see what the next few days are,” Tom Patzer said.
More flooding… but this time in the form of community support.
“We’ve had people calling all morning asking, ‘Can we give you a hand?’ ‘Can we come by and see you?’ ‘Can we help you?’ We’ll take some of them up on that, but right now no one can get to the building yet, so,” Tom Patzer said.
As for what’s next, it’s all about going with the flow.
“What we do next: everyone will be in today, we’ll clean it up, we’ll get it… looking good and we’ll get it started again,” Tom Patzer said.
Right now, the team at Patzer Woodworking is hard at work cleaning up the store, along with the help of some volunteers.
If anyone would like to volunteer, stop by their store or feel free to call them at 605-996-5983.