SD braces for record floods

Thousands expected to evacuate as Missouri rises to record levels

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UPI) | June 1, 2011



"Most of the homes here, no matter how well the levee system is built, will not escape groundwater seeping up into their basements."

—State Sen. Dan Lederman


Authorities in South Dakota say efforts are underway to build levees as snow melt and Montana rains push the Missouri River to record levels.

Local, state and federal personnel were involved in multiple levee-building efforts at Pierre, Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes that began Tuesday as water levels rose, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

The residents of Dakota Dunes, near the Iowa-South Dakota border, were trying to move furniture and appliances out of harm's way before they might have to evacuate Thursday.

As of Tuesday, evacuations were voluntary but homeowners were told law enforcement would give them two days to move if evacuations become mandatory.

"Most of the 2,500 here will go somewhere else," state Sen. Dan Lederman, who lives in Dakota Dunes, said. "Most of the homes here, no matter how well the levee system is built, will not escape groundwater seeping up into their basements."

Helicopters dropped sandbags in the area as volunteers built a levee around the upscale community of homes worth $500,000 and more.

Meanwhile, trucks lined up at house after house as families frantically packed up their belongings, KETV, Omaha, Neb., reported.

Roads in and out of Dakota Dunes were jammed as homeowners rushed to move their possessions to higher ground.

If the levees cannot hold back the rising waters Dakota Dunes could be underwater for two months, emergency managers said.

Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.


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