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Governor Daugaard Reviews Flood Fight at Dakota Dunes

Note: This release is based on projections and the most current information from the Army Corps of Engineers. This is a rapidly-evolving situation that may change as more information because available.

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Note: This release is based on projections and the most current information from the Army Corps of Engineers. This is a rapidly-evolving situation that may change as more information because available.

PIERRE - Gov. Dennis Daugaard reviewed flood preparations in the Dakota Dunes area today and urged residents to stay out of the way of trucks and personnel involved in an emergency levee project.

The community is building a levee to protect against rising water as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increases to record levels the flows from the mainstream dams on the Missouri River.

"We are in a race against the clock,'' Governor Daugaard said. "Every time a truck working on the levies or a National Guard vehicle must stop for other traffic, the risk of being unsuccessful goes up. Every minute is important.''

The Governor has advised residents to have their possessions moved, homes secured and be out of those homes by late Thursday, June 2. They should expect to be away from their homes for as much as two months because elevated releases of water from the mainstem dams will continue for several weeks.

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The Governor announced that nearly 200 National Guard members are mobilized for flood-fighting efforts at Dakota Dunes. He also said two Blackhawk helicopters will be involved in the effort. The South Dakota National Guard's Blackhawks have been deployed overseas, so the states of Iowa and North Dakota each provided a helicopter to South Dakota.

The state assigned a Type Two incident management team to the area to coordinate flood protection efforts with local officials.

The Corps of Engineers now projects that, once water releases reach a maximum flow of 150,000 cubic feet per second (CFS), water levels in Dakota Dunes will reach 1098 feet above sea level. This means that protective measures should be built to 1100 feet above sea level.

When will this begin and for how long will it last?

According to Corps plans, water releases from Gavins Point Dam will increase gradually increase through the end of this week. Beginning next week, water releases will increase more rapidly and will reach a maximum of 150,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) by mid-June.

Explanation of the cause

Over the past several days, the Army Corps of Engineers dramatically increased their calculation of water release required from the mainstem dams on the Missouri River. The Corps believes that this increased water release is necessary to avoid overtopping of the spillways.

Huge rainfalls in Wyoming, Montana, and western North Dakota and South Dakota over the past month have exceeded rainfall in a normal year. This used the reservoir capacity that had been reserved to accommodate the snowmelt. In addition, mountain snowpack is 135 percent to 140 percent of normal, and it is melting at a later time. As a result, all the moisture will require the Corps to increase water flows to unprecedented levels.

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For questions about the situation, or information about flood preparation:

1-866-446-5324 or http://disasterrecovery.sd.gov/flood_info.aspx .

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