Rains subside, now it’s time to dry out


A drainage ditch along a Northern Hills road almost cuts off a driveway.  (photo by Brad Sugden)

by Brad Sugden, KOTA TV News meteorologist

After nearly a year of drought, parts of KOTA Territory are now under water.
The Northern Black Hills pick up half a foot of rain, causing rivers and creeks to swell.

And in some cases, flood roadways.

Surprisingly none of the rivers or streams are in flood stage, although they are definitely close.

Spearfish Creek is nearly touching the Nash Street bridge in Spearfish.

The water at it’s peak Tuesday was flowing more than ten times faster, and in volume compared to it’s normal levels.

This comes after parts of Spearfish near Clyde Ice Field, and the Northern Hills reported more than half a foot of rain since last Friday.

In Lead specifically, more than six inches has fallen.

Had we not been in a drought, the amount of water flowing into the streams would have been greater and could have led to more flooding.

We spoke with Cheryl Johnson, Public Works Administrator with the city of Spearfish who says they haven’t seen any damage from the high water, and are not sandbagging.

“While it’s different for us to see this flow event because we haven’t seen it for quite awhile now, it’s not uncommon and it’s not posing any threat to any of our public infrastructure,” says Johnson.

“We’ve had quite a bit of rain and it’s neat to see how deep it is getting and how fast it is flowing. I haven’t seen it like this but maybe twice in the last five years,” says David Hughes, out walking with his daughter to see the rising water.

Johnson said she has been monitoring the river gauge all day Tuesday. And says they are seeing a peak in the water flow Tuesday. She says typically it takes seven to ten days for the water levels to return to normal.
KOTA Territory News

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