Heavy Rain Leads To Street, Field Flooding In SE South Dakota

Sep 16, 2016

Flooding at Broadway and Railroad Streets in Centerville, September 15, 2016. Southeast South Dakota saw as much as a half-foot of rain in two waves of Thunderstorms.
Credit Gary Ellenbolt / SDPB

A day of heavy rain caused flooding and traffic problems in southeast South Dakota Thursday.  In many cases, the rain taxed city storm sewers to their limits.

Excess rain water is flowing into this storm sewer in Centerville at a more relaxed pace than during powerful storms today.  Storms came in two waves during the day, with the first rains saturating ground that has seen plenty of moisture lately.  That left no place for the rain from the second storm to go.

Centerville Fire Chief Tim Ganschow says it will take a while for the town’s storm sewers to completely drain.

“Everything’s running smooth—there’s water sitting on the streets, mainly because there’s so much water, and everything’s gotta drain from the east side of town to the west side of town.  So it’s just gonna take some time until everything gets sloped down to the river,” says Ganschow.

A full storm sewer in front of the Centerville School on Lincoln Street. The area was hit by as much as six inches of rain Thursday.
Credit Gary Ellenbolt / South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Officials say as much as a half-foot of rain fell in some parts of the southeast—Mike Fuhs with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says meteorologists figured on storm totals of a half inch to two inches of rain.

“But then, it started training—especially along an axis from Bon Homme and Yankton County northeastward toward Sioux Falls.  And it just kept going and going along some upper-level features, that didn’t want to move, for whatever reason.  And that’s when we started getting these four to six inch amounts before finally shoving east after mid-afternoon.”

Fuhs says most of the flooding issues were confined to communities—especially those with poor drainage systems.  Some farm fields were flooded, and officials report a house fire in Brandon that was caused by lightning.