Flooding expected in eastern South Dakota

Across northcentral and northeastern South Dakota, soil that was already 80 to 100 percent saturated before winter is about to receive a heavy dose of moisture from 20 to 30 inches of snowpack that is beginning to melt. The situation has led local and state officials to issue warnings about potential flooding.

The upper James River in South Dakota looks especially flood prone this year, with the worst impacts likely being from Redfield to the north.

It’s part of our crazy weather here in South Dakota. Several years ago, we were in a drought. We’re just emerging from a winter in which we went months without seeing 40 degrees and were blanketed by historic amounts of snow. Now we’re about to see all that snow melt and swell our rivers.

What will the future bring? In South Dakota, which is sometimes referred to as the Land of Infinite Variety, nobody knows. After a wet spring with flooding, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we were dry and needing rain by August.

Some people might look at our vastly varying weather and ask, "Why in the world do you live there?" Well, for one, I guess some of us like the variety. Seventy degrees every day would be nice, but it would probably get boring after a while. We consider ourselves a hardy, hard-working lot, and I think a lot of South Dakotans take some pride (perhaps foolish pride) in testing ourselves against the best that Mother Nature can throw at us.

Categories: Eastern SD, General News
Tags: Weather

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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