Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GFP Closes Lake Hiddenwood After Earthen Dam Failure

sd game fish and parks logo image
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

Officials with South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks say Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area near Selby is closed until further notice after the failure of its earthen dam.

Portions of Walworth, Edmunds, Campbell, and McPherson counties are under a flood warning until 10:30 Friday evening. The recreation area picked up several inches of rain Thursday from a severe thunderstorm. 

Dan Roberts is the park manager at Lake Hiddenwood. He says the lake was 10 to 12 feet deep, but now Roberts says it looks like a mud hole or a slough.  He says he's thankful the event happened when the area wasn’t busy.

"We made sure that these storm warnings were coming around during the evening, when they were first put out on the emergency services that we had no campers in there. We did verify that. And, so, there was no people involved in the campground at the time when the flood came through and the dam gave out."

Roberts says officials confirmed that again Friday morning. He says a preliminary assessment reveals impacts to park infrastructure. 


"Well, there's a main road that goes into the park where you cross the bridge where the dam's at and that road is taken out. So, there's no access actually into the campground area of the park or access to the boat ramp area. And, that will be closed indefinitely. You know, a lot of the hiking trails have been washed out. We have had several bridges that are located on those that are either damaged or completely missing. We've also had damage to the electrical system in the park. A transformer we had in there was destroyed and we've had some power poles that were knocked down - that power has been shut off. But, we haven't had a full assessment because we haven't been able to get very many people into the campground, yet.

Lake Hiddenwood's earthen dam was created in 1927.  Roberts says farmland near the recreation area was also flooded due to the storm.