Water recedes as flood damage totals climb

Local News

It’s been a couple of weeks now, since eastern parts of KELOLAND were inundated with flood water after heavy rain.

Now that the water is beginning to recede, county officials are getting a better idea of just how much damage the flooding caused to area roads and culverts.

We all remember the spring flooding and the damaged it caused to county and township roads.

KELOLAND News drove around the county Tuesday morning with Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Jason Gearman, who says this latest round of flooding, damaged a lot of the same roads that had just been repaired.

“There’s a lot of debris around,” Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Jason Gearman said.

Gearman has been down this road before. Last spring these same roads near Renner were under water due to snow runoff and heavy rain.

Now six months later it’s the same story.

“Obviously the water is finally going down, but now we’re going through the same issues that we went through this spring,” Gearman said.

So, it’s back to square one.

“You know, a lot of these townships fixed the roads already and now they’re washed out again,” Gearman said.

So they’ll have to go through the same paperwork as they did this past spring to get FEMA funds to help with another round of repairs.

“So we just got to do the best we can and get through this and you know hopefully, they can get their roads fixed again and get the help from the federal government and the state,” Gearman said.

Because it’s going to take a lot of money, hard work, and time.

“I mean you’re not going to stop the water from flowing it’s impossible, there are some mitigation projects you can do to raise some roads, but that becomes very expensive and that’s something that may get explored, but that depends on the costs versus benefit,” Gearman said.

County officials are advising people to stay off the roads as much as possible, so crews can continue to do their work and if a road is closed, don’t drive around the barricades.

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