South Dakota Flooding September 2019

Bergquist Discusses South Dakota Road Conditions

By LORI WALSH • SEP 26, 2019

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.

Rebuild the Heartland

By JOSHUA HAIAR • SEP 13, 2019

When floodwaters rise, neighbors rise to the occasion.

Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund, established by First National Bank of Omaha in partnership with Nebraska Community Foundation, exists to help restore and recover communities affected by floods in Nebraska, western Iowa and southeastern South Dakota. Alec Gorynski is Vice President of Community Development and Corporate Philanthropy with First National Bank of Omaha and he joins us by phone this morning.

Everyone Deserves Help During Difficult Times

By LORI WALSH • SEP 18, 2019

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.

Governor Addresses Common Questions After Touring State Flood and Storm Damage



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.

“There is no doubt that we will have tough discussions and decisions about our budget come January, but I don’t see the need for any new legislation that would require a special session today. If that changes, I will be the first person to notify the public and the legislature.”

Noem also called the closing of Interstate-90 from flood waters “unprecedented.” She’s calling on the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to work with state engineers to ensure interstates never again close from flooding.

“Our population is too spread out, and when we lose the ability to travel on interstates and major highways due to flooding, we are compounding the disaster. In the era of big data, we can and we must be able to plan for the worst-case scenarios.”

So far this year South Dakota has received one federal disaster declaration and has three more still pending.

Noem anticipates the damage from this month’s flooding will warrant yet another federal disaster declaration.

Special Coverage on SD Flooding

The special episode of FOCUS will provide flood coverage from throughout the state, including an aerial tour of southeastern South Dakota to survey widespread flooding of the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers and damage to the state’s highways and communities. We’ll ride a school bus in Eagle Butte, where roads have not been repaired since last spring’s flooding. We’ll see how community members come together to save the historic stone Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Menno, and we’ll talk with state scientists and ag officials about the fall outlook.

The Undiscussed Side Effects Of Flooding

By LORI WALSH • SEP 19, 2019


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.

A Community Comes Together: Stone Church

Upon This Rock

Photos by Jackie Vaith