In The Moment ... September 20, 2019 Show 663 Hour 1

When a disaster happens, a government's level of preparedness is tested, but who is there to help ensure the state is prepared?

Tina Titze is the director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management and joined SDPB's Joshua Haiar to give us an update regarding South Dakota's preparedness. 

South Dakota State University

In The Moment ... September 19, 2019 Show 662 Hour 1

With all the flooding we have seen this year, has water quality has been affected?

To help us answer the question, John McMaine is an assistant professor at SDSU who develops and shares water management tools to better equip agricultural stakeholders with practices that address challenges related to water quality. 

Nate Wek

 The Big Sioux River has reached record-breaking levels, and officials are stressing the need to stay away from water-covered roads.

Minnehaha County Emergency Management Director Jason Gearman says there’ve been a couple water rescues in Dell Rapids and other areas north of Sioux Falls.


In The Moment ... March 28, 2019 Show 545 Hour 1

The Moreau River on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation is experiencing record breaking flooding. Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier joins us today with the latest.


In The Moment ... March 28, 2019 Show 545 Hour 2

Jeff VanMeeteren is the SE Regional Parks Supervisor with South Dakota Game Fish & Parks. He's with us today to talk about what it takes to close and re-open state parks when there are issues such as the current flooding.

In The Moment ... March 27, 2019 Show 544 Hour 1

The recent rising waters have some South Dakota highways closed. What factors go into the reopening of these roads and what are the safety concerns? Darin Bergquist is South Dakota's Secretary of Transportation.


In The Moment ... March 26, 2019 Show 543 Hour 2

South Dakota state climatologist Laura Edwards joins us for a look at the Spring outlook. The forecast is wet and cool, which may offer additional challenges for ag families.


In The Moment ... March 26, 2019 Show 543 Hour 2

Doug Sombke is president of South Dakota Farmers Union. He joins In the Moment to discuss how flooding is impacting ag families in the state, especially in the context of market prices and additional economic pressures.


In The Moment ... March 26, 2019 Show 543 Hour 1

Rural ag families are being impacted by the recent flooding in South Dakota. Curt Ulmer ranches near Menno and his operation has been affected by the rising waters. Today he talks about his experience this far and what he's gone through in the past.


In The Moment ... March 26, 2019 Show 543 Hour 1

Amy Freeburg and her husband farm near Gayville, South Dakota. She talks with us today about the affect the flooding is having on their operation.


In The Moment ... March 26, 2019 Show 543 Hour 1

Jennifer Strait and her family live between Murdo and White River, where the Big White and Little White Rivers converge. She joins us to discuss the recent flooding and its long-range impact.

Artist Retreat at Risk After Flooding

Mar 26, 2019
Jackie Hendry

The flooding in southeast South Dakota is also threatening a rare space for the state’s artists. The Retreat at Pointer’s Ridge in Baltic is a non-profit camp meant to give visitors a quiet space to reflect and create. But as the river rises, the camp’s future is uncertain. 

Donations Aid People Impacted By Pine Ridge Flooding

Mar 25, 2019
Chynna Lockett

  Areas of the rural Pine Ridge Reservation are currently flooded. Water levels are forcing some community members to evacuate, while some others are unable to leave their houses to get supplies like groceries and toiletries. Donations are being accepted in Rapid City.


Terra Houska heard from family and friends that many Pine Ridge locals need supplies. Houska put the word out on social media and donations came in.


In The Moment ... March 25, 2019 Show 542 Hour 2

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of southeastern South Dakota.

USGS scientist Nathan Stevens joins us with a look at science that assists in the critical response from emergency responders and resource managers.

In The Moment ... March 25, 2019 Show 542 Hour 2

Tina Titze is South Dakota Emergency Operations Director. She joins us today for an update from the State Emergency Operations Center in Pierre.

NWS Sioux Falls

In The Moment ... March 25, 2019 Show 542 Hour 1

Mike Gillispie is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He joins us for a Monday update on flooding in Southeast South Dakota.

Rosebud's Demon

Mar 13, 2019
South Dakota Magazine

In The Moment ... March 13, 2019 Show 534 Hour 1

The 1952 Rosebud blizzard and the flood that followed created conditions as dangerous as any storm in South Dakota history.

As another demon of a storm descends on South Dakota, writer Paul Higbee discusses his feature column "Rosebud's Demon" which appears in the March/April edition of South akota Magazine.

Eastern SD Getting Wetter Over Past 65 Years

Dec 16, 2015
Jim Holbeck

Is your old cornfield a new bass pond?  There are now parts of eastern South Dakota where the fishing is better than the farming.

A new study by the United States Geological Survey shows a trend towards a wetter climate east of the Missouri River over the last six and a half decades.  Stream gages along waterways like the James and Big Sioux Rivers show a general pattern of increased rains and river flows since 1948. Researchers say they hope this data can be used by ag producers, land managers, and emergency management personnel as they plan for the future.


FEMA Housing Lands On Pine Ridge Following Disaster

Dec 9, 2015
Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is placing new mobile homes on Pine Ridge following spring  storms and flooding that destroyed and damaged buildings in Oglala Lakota County.

The storms made the already severe housing shortage on Pine Ridge worse.

On Wednesday, December 9th FEMA is opening the doors on one of the first mobile homes to be replaced following the disaster declaration.

‘15 Wetter Than ‘72 In Parts Of Black Hills

Oct 23, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Pactola Dam could see the wettest year on record with over 29 inches of rain so far.  Right now 2015 is tracking a close second to the record year of 1962.   

Both years are higher than the 1972 precipitation, the year of the Black Hills Flood.    Weather officials say most of the rain in 1972 fell downstream from Pactola in one large burst.

Sturgis Emergency Manager Hopes For Best, Preps For Worst

Jul 14, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The 75th Sturgis Rally could bring more than 750,000 people to South Dakota in the first part of August.
The flood of people can compound challenges in dealing with any major catastrophe that could occur.
So, officials with the Meade County Emergency Management in Sturgis are opening an operations center and keeping it staffed through the rally.

Pactola Pushed Into Flood Pool--Tops Record

Jun 5, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Pactola Reservoir is now at an all-time record high level.  

The reservoir is perched in the Black Hills above Rapid City.    Recent rains pushed lake levels 7-feet into the flood pool.   
Officials are trying to control downstream flooding by letting less water out of the dam than is coming in from upstream.  But more rain is in the forecast.

Click play below to hear the rest of the story. 

Officials Stress Safety Following Flooding

May 19, 2015
Pennington County Search and Rescue

Emergency responders performed a swift water rescue over the weekend in Western South Dakota. A car swept off the road by fast moving flood waters on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Emergency managers say the incident serves as a reminder for safety in flash flooding situations.

Click play bellow to hear more.


Spring Flood Risk Above Average

Feb 24, 2014

Officials with the National Weather Service say the Black Hills has an increased chance of flooding this spring.   Heavy rains in the fall coupled with the major October blizzard left behind saturated ground and full reservoirs.   Weather service officials say any extra spring rains could lead to high water.  

Susan Sanders with the National Weather Service in Rapid City says once the weather starts to warm up ice jams could also lead to localized flooding in some areas.

Federal Bill Seeks More River Data

Jan 24, 2014

A new bill pending in Congress requires the Army Corps of Engineers to keep data on soil moisture and snow pack in the upper Missouri River Basin–and to make this information available to the public.

Governor Dennis Daugaard’s office is pushing the federal legislation in the wake of the 2011 floods as a way to better manage future disasters. 

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray covered the flooding in 2011 and reports on the measure.

Deep Snow Turns Into High Water

Oct 8, 2013

The Black Hills is seeing some higher than normal water in the creeks and rivers in the wake of the blizzard that hit the region over the weekend.
Experts say catastrophic flooding is not likely–but area waterways  are running very strong  sometimes at even higher flows than seen in the spring.  

The swift moving current can be dangerous.  Officials are warning the public to stay away from area streams until the snow melt subsides.

Click on the link below to hear more from SDPB's Charles Michael Ray and the forecast for rain.

Front Range Flood Reminds Some Of 1972

Sep 13, 2013

The front range of Colorado is in recovery mode after flash floods ripped through several towns there last week. 

The flash flooding in the foothills of the Rockies has parallels to historic floods in the Black Hills, including the 1972 flood which remains among the most deadly disasters of its type in United States history.

On today’s Dakota Digest SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray speaks with Mark Anderson an expert with the United States Geological Survey Water Science Center in Rapid City.

FEMA Map Updates Flood Insurance Requirements

May 13, 2013

On June 3rd many Rapid City residents and businesses may suddenly find themselves under a mandatory flood insurance requirement.

FEMA redrew the flood boundaries around the Rapid Creek watershed.

The move caused about 800 buildings in Rapid City to see a change in designation – it may require many residents and businesses to buy into the National Flood Insurance Program.