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Torrential rainstorm wreaks havoc on Parkston, Armour

Water fills up the lot at Noteboom Implement in Parkston following the rains that came through on Thursday night. (Sam Fosness / Republic)

PARKSTON — In Alan Scholten's 61 years on his Armour farm, he's never seen this much leftover water after a rainstorm.

After torrential rains wreaked havoc on much of Hutchinson and Douglas counties Thursday night, Scholten's rain gauge had precipitation totals sitting at 6 inches Friday morning, well above the average amount of precipitation Parkston and Armour typically receive for the month of July.

"It came so fast," Scholten said Friday. "On our way home from Canton last night at 8 p.m., I was only able to drive 40 mph after I crossed the Jim River because the rain was so strong."

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning last night in Hutchinson and Douglas counties at 7:45 p.m., which lasted until 3:15 p.m. Friday. The official reported rain total for Hutchinson County was 4.5 inches, while Douglas County received 4.7 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Mitchell received 1.46 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said, while Burke officially received 4.75 inches. Tyndall received 2.68 inches, Ethan 3 inches and 4.7 inches.

Near Scholten's property, there is a 6-feet high and 30-feet long culvert that's completely washed out, causing the gravel road to split in half.

"The culvert has only washed out twice in my whole life," he said.

During the storm, Scholten said his electronic rain gauge read 3.68 inches after just one hour, which is more than double the amount of monthly rainfall Armour usually receives in July. The monthly average amount of precipitation for July in Hutchinson County is 1.5 inches, while Douglas County is 1.8 inches, according the National Weather Service.

"I've never seen that much water sitting my yard ever," he said.

Fortunately for Scholten's crops, he said his ground drains well because of the creek that is just east of his farm.

Scholten is also the service manager at Noteboom Implement in Parkston, where he walked into to work on Friday morning and saw the farm machinery sitting in knee-high water.

Noteboom Implement wasn't the only Parkston business that had ponds of standing water, as Scheetz Implement had an inch of water covering its gravel road entryway.

Bev Scheetz, co-owner of Scheetz Implement in Parkston, said this ranks in the top five rainstorms she's experienced as a business owner in Parkston.

Owning an implement business full of farm machinery and equipment, flooding can be a serious threat for Scheetz and other implement dealers.

"Wheel bearings are the only real concern with the amount of water we have standing right now, but if water levels rise to the motor, then you have some serious issues," Scheetz said. She has been operating the implement business with her husband since 1962.

While Thursday night's rainstorm has the water levels sitting a comfortable amount lower than the motors of the machinery, Scheetz said they always check the farm equipment after serious weather.

Prior to the state rebuilding Highway 37, Scheetz said flooding was much more threatening to her business, which is located right along the highway.

"When they rebuilt Highway 37 a while back, they installed big culverts to help drain water, which has helped immensely after a big rainstorm," she said. "This is exactly why these culverts are so important."

Fortunately, the five-day forecast for Parkston calls for dry and sunny conditions, with a 60 percent chance of rain Wednesday.

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