While the floodwaters are drying up in some areas, the Rosebud Indian Reservation is bracing for more. Rain in the forecast has tribal leaders trying to get ahead of any potential dangers. Now tribal leaders are trying to protect the people who live there from more flooding.
Heavy rain earlier this month made the water rise high and fast.
“If it wasn’t for our early warning systems, we wouldn’t have known,“ Robert Oliver, Safety of Dams director, said.
Oliver says the six dams in the Rosebud area alerted him.
“I’ve been really busy,“ Oliver said.
With more rain bringing more problems, Oliver is cranking out the only possible solution. Oliver and his crew are opening up the Rosebud Dam to let more water out.
“Hopefully that will mitigate any flooding issues downstream,“ Oliver said.
Oliver hopes it will protect the 20 homes downstream. Tribal leaders did this earlier this month to alleviate flooding, and you can see where all that water left its mark along a berm.
“It ran pretty fast. All we could do was monitor it. There’s really nothing you can do but watch,“ Oliver said.
The increased flow brought ice chunks that damaged a dock and recreation area. Before opening the dam, the tribe told people here they could choose to evacuate. Oliver says people have been working to keep the floods away from homes and buildings.
In just a matter of days, he says they’ve filled 3,000 sandbags. Fast forward to Thursday, and Oliver hopes these preparations mean he won’t have to tell them to leave their homes again.
“There is a little bit of concern. If we get enough precipitation like they say it could go up another, I think it was 10 feet above the spillway,“ Oliver said.