100th Meridian Project: Part 5

May 15, 2020

In The Moment … May 15, 2020 Show 818 Hour 1

Unprecedented flooding a year ago devastated many towns in the Midwest and Great Plains. Some are still struggling to come back. In today's story about climate change in the region, a Nebraska community wants to protect itself from more floods by moving to higher ground.

For a Harvest Public Media project, Christina Stella reports.


SDPB File Photo

State climatologists and hydrologists are concerned looking ahead to next spring.

As the soil begins to freeze, it’s saturated in many parts of the state.

Laura Edwards is the state climatologist with SDSU. She says even with average snowfall, the soil has little to no capacity to take up extra moisture.

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Sixty-three of South Dakota’s 66 counties submitted disaster declarations after this year’s devastating blizzards, floods, and tornadoes. In Governor Kristi Noem’s budget address for fiscal year 2021, she outlines a plan to recover from this year’s disasters and mitigate future damages. 

The governor’s budget proposal includes a partnership between state and local governments to manage the high cost of this year’s natural disasters. The state already offers some assistance, but Noem says local governments have expressed concerns in the face of record-breaking damages.  

News: Nov 2 - 8

Nov 8, 2019

Reservations are struggling to fix flood-damaged roads.

One South Dakota lawmaker says the state needs to fulfill the financial promises of a 2013 criminal justice reform package.

Death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines was executed by lethal injection at 7:39 Monday night. 

ABA therapy is one of the most effective treatments for children with autism, but South Dakota families lost health insurance coverage for the expensive therapy earlier this year.

An Egyptian trade delegation arrived in Sioux Falls Sunday night.

Roads and highways around the state are in rough shape - with some still flooded from heavy rains and last winter’s ice melt.  Reservation roads face the same challenges but some tribal leaders say they don't have the money to make required fixes.

“I’m here at Lake Andes next to highway 18. The afternoon sun is glistening off water that’s covered up a good stretch of the highway. Sandbags are piled up in some sections to try and keep the water from reaching anymore of the town. The Yankton Sioux Tribe says flooding like this has been a problem in the area for months.” 

Dell Rapids St. Mary

The community of Dell Rapids is celebrating its homecoming this week for both of its high schools – Dell Rapids High School and Dell Rapids St. Mary. Instead of playing in Dell Rapids this week, the St. Mary Cardinals football team has moved its homecoming game to McEneaney Field at Bishop O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls. 

Dell Rapids St. Mary Activities Director Casey Michel says Rickeman Field has sand and other debris like hay bales and branches on the field/ its surface. 


In The Moment ... September 26, 2019 Show 667 Hour 1

The recent rising waters have had some South Dakota roads, highways and interstates closed again.

What are the safety concerns and processes for reopening these roads? South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist explains.

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. 

Josh Haiar

In The Moment ... September 18, 2019 Show 661 Hour 2

When a flood, tornado, or any other natural disaster hits, those affected deserve simple and help during these difficult times. That is what the 211 Helpline Center is for. With the recent tornado that hit Sioux Falls and flooding around the state, the Helpline Center was busy as ever. 

Janet Kittams is the CEO of the Helpline Center. She's here to give us an update regarding the Helpline Center's efforts since the tornado and flooding.  

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem took to Facebook Live to address what she says were the most common questions she heard while touring recent storm and flood damage.

During her remarks on Tuesday night, Noem touched on use of the National Guard. She says the Guard is called when no other solutions are possible, and other resources like DOT trucks and inmate labor are often more affordable.

She adds some have asked about a special legislative session. Noem does not think that is necessary.

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 ... September 12, 2019 Show 657 Hour 2

More rain means more flooding in South Dakota. National Weather Service hydrologist Mike Gillispie joins In The Moment with an update.

Flood Evacuations For Montrose

Sep 12, 2019

Parts of McCook County are currently flooding. Officials with the Emergency Operations Center report sections of Montrose near the East Fork Vermilion River have been evacuated and surrounding highways are shut down. Paul Klaudt is the mayor of Montrose, a town of about 500 people. 

News: Aug 31 - Sep 6

Sep 6, 2019

This week we bring you everything from non-meandering waters to industrial hemp production. It was a week that celebrated the state's great places, and dove deeper into the long-term impact of spring flooding and erratic weather. 

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... July 25, 2019 Show 623 Hour 1

Damage from winter storms and spring flooding has caused more than 1,000 South Dakotans to reach out for federal disaster relief. You can also call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or download the mobile app for your smart device.

Eastern South Dakota 'Flooded' With Fish

Jul 15, 2019
Nate Wek

The eastern part of South Dakota has experienced a wetter than normal spring and summer. Areas like Watertown are experiencing water levels up to eight inches above normal for this time of year.

While the water can have a negative effect on crops and plants, fish populations should see a boost in their numbers. Brian Blackwell is a fisheries biologist for South Dakota Game Fish and Parks in the Webster area. He claims the unusually wet year on the eastern side of the state will ultimately help the multiple species of fish.

Rain, Wind, And Lightning In Southeast South Dakota

Jun 27, 2019
Adria Botella

In The Moment ... June 27, 2019 Show 605 Hour 2

The weather overnight and into this morning was interesting to say the least in Southeast South Dakota.

Todd Heitkamp is meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He joins us today to discuss what took place, the flash flooding, and the weather ahead.


In The Moment ... June 5, 2019 Show 589 Hour 2

What happened to funding for the Mni Wiconi Water Project? How devastating is the impact of flooding in Pennington County? What are the results of Tuesday's municipal election in Rapid City?

Rapid City Journal Enterprise Reporter Seth Tupper joins SDPB's Lori Walsh to discuss these issues.

Regional Economy Expanding At Positive Pace

Jun 4, 2019

In The Moment ... June 4, 2019 Show 588 Hour 1

In his Mid-America Index Report, Ernie Goss says May numbers show the regional economy continues to grow at a positive pace. He adds, however, that tariffs and flooding across several states has pulled the overall index below growth neutral in South Dakota's neighboring states of Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota.

Goss is director of Creighton University's Economic Forecasting Group in Omaha.


In The Moment ... May 28, 2019 Show 583 Hour 2

The Lyman County Sheriff's Office is advising no travel on county roads due to flooding in parts of the county. Many of those roads had already been affected by a wet, difficult winter.

Sheriff Steve Manger joins In the Moment to talk about efforts to help Lyman County residents.

Lyman County Flooding

May 28, 2019

In The Moment ... May 28, 2019 Show 583 Hour 2

Much of Lyman County is dealing with flooding that has caused extensive problems in the towns of Presho and Kennebec.

Kelly Serr, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Aberdeen, discusses the precipitation that has Medicine Creek over its banks as well as the forecast for the next few days.

CRST Declares Another Emergency In Flooding Areas

May 23, 2019

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman is declaring an emergency for areas along one of the reservation’s rivers effected by flooding.

Tribal officials say they expect the river to rise even further.

Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier says several homes in the reservation are under water near the town of Bridger.

Frazier says emergency crews are down there helping families get out of their homes. He says those crews are also placing sandbags to figure out where flooding might become an issue.

In The Moment ... May 22, 2019 Show 581 Hour 1

Parts of western South Dakota have seen several inches of snow this week while the eastern side is experiencing plenty of rain. What are the expectations for the Memorial Day weekend?

National Weather Service Meteorologist Susan Sanders joins In The Moment from Rapid City, while National Weather Service Hydrologist Mike Gillispie joins from Sioux Falls.

Spring Planting

May 8, 2019
Andrew Bork

In The Moment ... May 8, 2019 Show 571 Hour 1

As the weather continues to get warmer in May corn and soybean producers in South Dakota are trying to get their crops in as soon as possible. However, flooding, late spring snows and continued rainy days means fields are still too wet to plant. SDPB's Jackelyn Severin has more on how planing delays can cause problems for farmers all season.

In The Moment ... April 15, 2019 Show 556 Hour 2

U.S, Representative Dusty Johnson briefs listeners on flooding and the conversations going on in Congress.

He was in Vermillion Monday to meet with political science students and faculty at the University of South Dakota.


In The Moment ... April 10, 2019 Show 553 Hour 2

Could the latest spring storm create even more flooding in southeast South Dakota?

National Weather Service Hydrologist Mike Gillispie explains what's ahead for our rivers and streams.


In The Moment ... April 1, 2019 Show 547 Hour 2

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota continues to deal with cleanup as the result of flooding. Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier returns to In The Moment to provide and update on current conditions.


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.