It’s been nearly a week since Mitchell, and much of eastern South Dakota, woke to a water-logged landscape.
A massive, multiple-day rainstorm blasted through here as Mother Nature flexed her muscles, showing her absolute power. Businesses have been destroyed, basements ruined and farmland buried under water.
This weather was a disaster. But for many of us, it needs to be a learning experience.
We hope to never see another year in which we get so much precipitation ever again, but there’s no controlling the skies.
Our ground is already so saturated that even another thunderstorm and moderate rain this fall will cause problems again. Water is running off everywhere and flooding is prevalent all over.
So, it’s important to ask yourself: What did you learn from last week’s rain?
Each homeowner should be looking at areas to fix and update, starting of course with your sump pump. We also heard of multiple basements just collapsing in town and water rushing in through egress windows. Those are all fixes that can be made, and should be addressed, this fall.
Also, we wonder if local city and county governments are assessing areas in need of improvement. Some rural roads and bridges are just gone or completely destroyed. Where were culverts washed out and are there ways to build those up better?
In Mitchell, severe flooding on Havens Avenue became a nightmare for nearby homes and businesses. What exactly was the culprit? Are the storm sewers good enough and working properly? What’s the main problem in the residential area at Loma Linda Drive?
We hope city officials and council members are investigating these problems, finding ways to prevent them from happening again and highly prioritizing them.
And, perhaps most importantly, we hope emergency personnel assessed their communication to the public and are looking at ways to get their messages out faster and more clearly.
This certainly could be the rainstorm of the century, but we have no way of knowing if that’s the case. We should brace ourselves like it will happen again.
That’s why it’s important to learn from the obstacles that sprouted from the storm and adjust.
Winter is on its way, folks. That means snow, and eventually spring melt.
If our ground is already soaked, spring could be a disaster if we’re not preparing now.