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Flood levels in East River remain stable despite recent storms

South Dakota Civil Air Patrol

Despite heavy rains in East River over the Memorial Day weekend, water levels for the James and Big Sioux River are currently not a significant flood concern.

Mike Gillispie, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said the forecast doesn't show any big changes in the weather pattern.

“We're not going to be pushing any kind of record levels anywhere," he said. "So more typical type flooding, what you see, you know, in the spring, unless we continue to get heavy rain over the next, you know, month or two."

Gillispie said the state’s  drought conditions actually helped prevent the flooding.

“So far, all of the rain, or most of the rain that has fallen, is going into storage in the soils and the ponds. So, the soils have gotten pretty well saturated," he said. "Hopefully over the next week to 10 days we're not looking at any heavy rainfall that would start to cause flooding problems before we start using up some of that additional moisture.”

The heavy rains did cause flooding for  some highways and roads. The South Dakota Highway Patrol warns drivers to use caution around flooded roadways and recommends that drivers turn around or use alternative routes.

Megan hosts All Things Considered and the SDPB News podcast.