Flooding closes schools, restricts travel in SE South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Flooding from torrential rain that’s soaked much of southeastern South Dakota closed schools for a second day on Friday, submerged city streets and caused some to evacuate their homes.
The cities of Mitchell, Dell Rapids and Madison have been hit especially hard with the area receiving more than 7 inches (177.8 millimeters) of rain over two days. At least 20 school districts in the region, as well as Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell and Dakota State University in Madison, were closed Friday because of flooding.
In Brandon, northeast of Sioux Falls, the heavy rain turned the local golf course into a lake. Portions of the 18-hole course and an office at the clubhouse were flooded.
Davison County Emergency Manager Jeff Bathkeflood said several bridges have washed away in Mitchell. In Madison, approximately 30 people had to be rescued by boats and pay loaders Thursday. Floodwater inundated the community of about 7,300 people and quickly overtook bridges and submerged entire roads before flowing south.
Some parts of town saw anywhere between 2 feet (0.61 meters) to 3 feet (0.91 meters) of water, according to Mayor Marshall Dennert.
“There was really no way to prepare for this,” Dennert told the Argus Leader .
The Big Sioux River near Dell Rapids surpassed March’s record-breaking flooding of 1,489.5 feet (454 meters). Flood stage is 1,481 feet (451.41 meters).
Floodwaters closed Interstate 90 from Plankinton to Sioux Falls Thursday, but portions of the interstate reopened Friday, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation. According to the National Weather Service, up to 11 inches (279.4 millimeters) of rain fell over two days in parts of South Dakota.
Meanwhile, Xcel Energy said the number of customers still without power after three tornadoes struck Sioux Falls earlier this week was down to about 200 at noon Friday.