Roads remained closed across southeastern South Dakota on Tuesday morning after rising flood waters cut off the small city of Canton and submerged cars, homes and highways.
The severe storm pounded the eastern part of the state Monday afternoon and also slammed southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa, where at least one community was evacuated because of a swelling river. Emergency crews rushed to rescue people from their homes and fill sandbags as a defense against the waters.
Sign up for breaking news alerts from NBC News
Interstate 29 south of Sioux Falls remained impassable because of standing water, which reached up to headlights of abandoned cars, reported NBC affiliate KDLT in Sioux Falls. Drivers on Monday were also pelted with grapefruit-sized hail.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” state Rep. Jim Bolin told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. “It just keeps coming.”
The nasty weather isn’t over for the region, according to The Weather Channel. Isolated thunderstorms were expected Tuesday afternoon with stronger storms later in the evening — carrying the potential of large hail and strong winds.
The region has been inundated with record rains this month. Sioux Falls has seen nearly 10 inches in June — two inches above normal for this time of year.
Monday’s storm sent the Rock River in Rock Rapids, Iowa, cresting at more than 24 feet, and it was expected to rise another four feet, officials warned. About 350 people in the Lyon County community of Alvord were ordered to evacuate Monday, reported NBC affiliate KTIV.
There were reports of collapsed basements and road closures in the small city. An emergency shelter was set up at the local high school.
“This is definitely a learning situation tonight,” Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep said Monday. “Mother Nature shows us that we can be mighty small compared to [her.]”
— Erik Ortiz
First published June 17 2014, 7:52 AM