Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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State & National News

State: Noem Encourages Residents of Big Sioux River Valley to Prepare for Flooding

SD State News| Winter snowmelt and rain have raised the water levels in Big Sioux River Valley areas north of Watertown to south of Sioux Falls. At this time, the National Weather Service predicts that when flooding starts sometime this weekend or next week, the flooding levels could reach historic levels, some levels not seen since 1969.

“Flooding is not a matter of if, but when,” said Noem. “These levels will impact homes, businesses, roads, and farms. It’s important that those living in the Big Sioux River Valley start their flooding preparations now.”

Noem last week ordered the opening of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in the Mickelson Law Enforcement Center in Pierre to help coordinate the state’s response to last week’s blizzard and flooding. Several state agencies are working within the SEOC to prepare for upcoming flooding.

Residents in the area where flooding is expected to occur are urged to take the following basic precautions to protect themselves and their property from flooding:

• When driving, avoid going through flooded roads and do not drive around barricades. Take alternate routes. Check safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 for the most up-to-date information on state highways. Check with your county law enforcement or emergency management office for county and township road closures.

• Make sure you have enough supplies, including needed medication, on hand.

• Safeguard your possessions. Put copies of insurance policies, financial records and other critical documents in a waterproof container, along with an inventory of major household items.

• Make sure the sump pump is working and consider a battery-operated backup. Consider adding a sewer plug to your system.

• If possible, move furniture and valuable items such as photo albums and family keepsakes to a safe place.

National: 75 cities in Nebraska write state of emergency declarations

While blizzard conditions in South Dakota forced people to stay indoors, flood warnings in Nebraska forced people to evacuate their homes.

“More than 8 million people were under flood warnings Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said, as the heartland deals with the aftermath of snow melt and a “bomb cyclone” that blasted the central Plains and Upper Midwest last week with heavy rain or snow,” CNN’s  Christina Maxouris and Jason Hanna reported.

Cities in Iowa also faced flooding, and across Nebraska and Iowa, four people lost their lives due to flood conditions.

The Midwest and Plains are not out of danger either, as another storm is expected to sweep through the region next week, and the warming temperatures will melt the snow and ice, adding to the damages in water-logged cities.

“The Missouri and Mississippi rivers south of Nebraska and Iowa — already at minor or moderate flood stage along Kansas, Missouri and Illinois — are expected to rise a few more feet over the next few days, the National Weather Service said,” CNN reported.

Governor Kristi Noem today encouraged people living in the Big Sioux River Valley in eastern South Dakota to start preparing for record flooding.