Sightseers Visit Falls Park Despite Warning From City

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It’s rare when Sioux Falls city leaders urge people to avoid the city’s namesake.   But the swift current at Falls Park poses a danger for anyone who ventures too close.  Plenty of visitors are still showing up, but many are showing a healthy respect for the falls.  

The rushing waters of Falls Park are both inspiring.

“This much water coming through here, this is beautiful, it’s cool,”  Scott Johnston of Watertown said.

And, intimidating.

“Cuz it’s too much water and it’s real fast,” 12-year-old Addi Johnston said.

Families are streaming in to witness history cascading through the park.

“My granddaughter had a day-off from school today and I just felt like this was a sight that she may never see again in her lifetime, and it’s just a massive site of nature,” Peggy McNamara of Hartford said.

But the city wants visitors to stay away from the park at least until the floodwaters recede.

“One of the things we don’t want to see happen is somebody getting into trouble at Falls Park and then our first-responders have to respond and really using their valuable time when obviously, they’ve got a lot of other things to be doing as well,” Sioux Falls Parks Director Don Kearney said. 

Despite the urging for people to stay away, the City concedes that siteseers will still flock to the park. But they want to make sure that they check out the scenery from a safe distance.

“Before we got out of the car, we did say no one get too close.  And be respectful of any areas that were roped off because we are very respectful of such a powerful system going on here,” Kari Johnston of Watertown said.

The city has put up caution tape to keep people away from the lower viewing platforms, an up-close vantage that was underwater, just a day before.

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