SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Brad Adams of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said he has so many river and stream flood warnings that he can hardly keep track.
The observing program leader for the service said up to 7 inches of rain fell in some parts of the area around Sioux Falls on Wednesday, June 20, and Thursday, June 21, and major flooding is expected into the weekend in southeast South Dakota, southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.
The warnings on some rivers could run into next week, Adams said.
As for now, he said there were 19 different flood and stream flood warnings. One near Brandon and Corson, just east of Sioux Falls, had water almost 7 feet above flood stage at 15 feet by early Thursday morning. It forced the closure of the bridge over Splitrock Creek on South Dakota Highway 11 south of Brandon late Thursday afternoon.
Adams said he didn’t know if any homes were in danger as of yet, but he said farmland was definitely facing serious flooding as well as many roads being covered with water.
“We’re expecting rising waters on the rivers and streams,” he said. “It’s going to be a long duration event, too, as it could last into the middle of next week on some of the rivers.”
After the heaviest rain hit Wednesday night, Interstate 90 in Minnesota near the South Dakota border was temporarily closed because of flooding and reopened just after noon on Thursday.
“We want people to be careful and not drive through flooded roads,” said Tony Mangan, public information officer for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
He said many rural roads could be impassable with flooding and some may be damaged. Mangan said drivers should make sure to check roads before traveling and extra caution should be given at night.
Among the rivers expecting major flooding in southeast South Dakota are the Big Sioux from Sioux Falls south to where it runs into the Missouri River in Sioux City and the Vermillion from Wakonda south to Vermillion. In Minnesota, Adams said the major concern is the Rock River that runs near Luverne. In northwest Iowa, the Little Sioux River near Spencer and the Floyd River near Sheldon heading southwest to Sioux City are in a major flood warning.
Among the biggest rainfall totals recorded in southeast South Dakota the past 48 hours were 5.67 inches in one area of Sioux Falls, 5.19 inches in Hurley west of Sioux Falls and 4.75 inches in Canton south of Sioux Falls.
The heaviest hit area for rain was where the three states meet just east of Sioux Falls.
The Iowa towns in that area with the heaviest rain were Rock Valley with 6.39 inches and Larchwood with 5.43 inches. Sheldon farther to the east had 4.3 inches.
In Minnesota, Luverne had 4.94 inches, with Worthington getting 4.47 inches and Windom receiving 4 inches.
Counties in the flood warning in southeast South Dakota are southeastern McCook, Yankton, eastern Hutchinson, Moody, Clay, southeastern Lake, Minnehaha, Lincoln, eastern Bon Homme and Turner. In southwest Minnesota, the counties include Nobles, Cottonwood, Rock, Jackson, Pipestone and Murray.
The forecast for the area calls for a 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday, but a partly cloudy sky the rest of the weekend.