Warnings Of River Dangers After Weekend Rescue


Melting snow is still causing flooding problems across the Midwest.

Right now, 13 counties in South Dakota are under a flood warning– and that could be the case until Saturday.

It’s also impacting the levels of the Big Sioux River, where rescue crews were called in to save a kayaker over the weekend.

Sunny and 80 degrees is perfect weather for kayaking, if the Big Sioux River wasn’t so deep.

“During flood stage, it’s not a real good time to be out recreating on the river because there’s a lot of hidden hazards,” Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Lynn DeYoung said. 

If you see water swirling, that means there’s debris below.

“You might think you can do it with your skills, but we don’t see a lot of people in South Dakota that are recreational type kayakers that are having the skills to kayak when it’s at a high-water mark,” DeYoung said. 

A good way to tell water levels are too high is if you see trees in the river. That means it’s outside its banks. If you’re considering going out on the water anyway…

“Don’t do it. Check water levels, and water temps especially this time of year,” Sun N Fun manager Adam Dykstra said. 

Dykstra says it’s best to wait.  Colder weather puts you at higher risk of hypothermia.

“When the water temps are a little warmer at least. Not when there’s snow like, two weeks ago, and it just melted and started warming up,” Dykstra said. 

While the warmer weather may have you eager to get outside, waiting just a little bit longer before you hit the river is your best bet. 

The Minnehaha County Emergency Manager says the river should leave flood levels in the next four or five days, so you may be able to get out there this weekend, but it’s still best to check before you go. 

Kayaking Safety Tips Here

Kayaking Classes At The Outdoor Campus Here

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss

Flooding Resources