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Chamberlain sinkhole swallows pickup

Thunderstorms socked much of the region with heavy rain and caused some minor flooding issues early Wednesday morning, along with a truck-sized sinkhole in Chamberlain.

Sinkhole
Chamberlain City Engineer Greg Powell inspects an alley Wednesday morning where a sinkhole was created earlier by heavy rains and collapsed under the weight of a truck. Chamberlain received 2.52 inches of rain, according to National Weather Service reports. (Photo courtesy of the City of Chamberlain)

Thunderstorms socked much of the region with heavy rain and caused some minor flooding issues early Wednesday morning, along with a truck-sized sinkhole in Chamberlain.

The heaviest amounts of rain came in a band that extended from Chamberlain and moved northeast to Huron.

Chamberlain received 2.52 inches and White Lake got 2 inches of precipitation.

Among towns in the Mitchell area, Wessington Springs saw the most rain from the storm, with 3.15 inches falling but no flooding. Howard got 1.19 inches of rain and Gregory and Platte received just over 1 inch in Wednesday's storm.

The rain began to fall just after midnight in Chamberlain and continued until just before 7 a.m.

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Some flooding issues were reported in Chamberlain, which included an 8-foot deep sinkhole that swallowed a pickup in an alley near the intersection of Mott Avenue and Merrill Street.

"The heavy rain followed a pipe underground to that spot and pooled, causing the hole," said Chamberlain City Engineer Greg Powell. "The man in the pickup drove over it and it collapsed on him; luckily, no one was injured."

The pickup did sustain a great deal of damage, he said.

Powell said sinkholes can happen when heavy rains occur, and no one is to blame. The alley was closed and city crews started to fix the hole immediately.

The worst part of the storm largely missed Mitchell, as it received 0.82 inches of rain.

Wednesday's rain brought Mitchell's total precipitation for the month to 1.78 inches, still well below the historical monthly average of 4.13 inches.

The outlook for today in Mitchell looks sunny, with a high reaching 81 before giving way to a 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms Friday and a high of 88.

Related Topics: CHAMBERLAIN
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