Renner prepares for flooding, but residents remain optimistic

Local News

March Madness doesn’t just apply to basketball.

Later this week marks one year since we were reporting on a series of crazy events involving flooding along the Big Sioux River.

The small town of Renner was hit especially hard. While the National Weather Service has been saying, we could be in for it again this year, right now things are looking promising.

Last year when we talked with Donny Latham, whose house was surrounded by water and his basement flooded, he was trying to stay positive.

“Have fun with it, get the jet ski and boat out, don’t need to go to the lake,” Latham said

This year, he’s more than optimistic.

“Let’s just put it this way, I was out at the river last Saturday and it is down,” Latham said.

“This was all under water or close to under water,” Minnehaha County emergency manager Jason Gearman said.

Minnehaha County emergency manager Jason Gearman has been driving around the countryside to check out areas that were flooded last year.

“Right now everything appears to be good, it’s probably a minor flood stage and I’m not even seeing water leaving the banks of the Big Sioux River and going into the fields like we saw last year,” Gearman said.

Warm days and cool nights have helped with slowing down the snow melt and runoff.

“So it’s slowing that river down and it’s allowing the river to flow and get rid of a lot of the water gradually instead of all at once, but there’s still a lot of snow to the north of us, so we still have some concern there,” Gearman said.

The National Weather Service is cautioning people to be prepared; especially if we get heavy rain, like we did last year.

That’s exactly why Latham has brought in dirt to try and raise the ground around his house to better protect it, in case history repeats itself.

“Aint’ got to ride the jet ski yet,” Latham said.

Some homes in Renner were damaged so badly by last year’s flooding that they had to be torn down.

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