Start Preparing Now: Minnehaha County Emergency Manager

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Start preparing now, don’t wait, that’s the message from Minnehaha County Emergency responders, who briefed county commissioners today on the potential of this next round of flooding. 

Last week’s flooding was nothing compared to what is expected in the coming days. 

“As we’re understanding it, this is going to be flooding levels that we haven’t seen in decades,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said. 

Today Minnehaha County Sheriff, Mike Milstead and County Emergency manager Jason Gearman briefed county commissioners on how the county is going to be responding when the water levels rise along the Big Sioux River, and other smaller creeks. 

“What we’ve been doing is instructing people to protect their property and plan ahead,” Gearman said. 

This map shows the potential flooding that could happen around Dell Rapids and other smaller communities. 

The concern is over the snowpack up north and the amount of water it’s holding. With warm temperatures in the forecast, they predict flooding will happen quickly. 

The county has ordered 50,000 sandbags and received another 40,000 more from other counties to help people protect their homes.  

“The intention now is to provide these sandbags to the cities and have people come into these cities to get a certain amount of sandbags that they think they need,” Gearman said.

Once the flooding starts, they are warning people to not drive around barricades.

“It is extremely dangerous, it puts our first responders at risk, it puts the people at risk greatly, especially the amount of water we anticipate coming down the Big Sioux and Skunk Creek and those basins,” Milstead said. 

Be advised, the county says it doesn’t have enough barricades to close all the roads they anticipate will be under water. 

“We urge the citizens to not drive through standing water or flowing water on roadways, so don’t assume everything that’s open that doesn’t have a barricade on it, because we do not have enough barricades to cover everything that may be covered in a flood event,” Milstead said. 

The county says communities will be looking for volunteers to help fill sandbags once they are delivered, they are still working on those logistics.  But if you can volunteer, you’re asked to call the 211 helpline.   

To see an interactive map of the potential flooding in your area, click here to see a map.  The county says the water flows could reach 30-35 thousand cfs. 

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