Gov. Dennis Daugaard warned this morning that flooding along the
Missouri River may be worse than earlier anticipated, and he urged those living in affected areas to prepare for the worst.
The governor's warning is based on preliminary information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Heavy rains are forecast this weekend in the Upper Missouri River Basin, and additional water flowing into the reservoir system will only worsen flooding, the Governor explained.
Contingency plans were being developed Saturday to deal with the potential of larger releases of water from the mainstem dams, releases that are earlier than previously announced, or both. No definite information or updated plans were released by the Corps of Engineers, but they will be distributed as soon as available.
State, local and federal governments are working feverishly to put measures in place that will protect the public infrastructure, such as roads, utilities and emergency transportation, Gov. Daugaard said. However, he cautioned those in flood areas to continue efforts to protect their property.
"Self-reliance is essential," the Governor said. "People who have been working hard to protect their property should not stop. They should not assume that government efforts will be enough to stop water from invading their homes. We hope that efforts to protect infrastructure also protect personal property, but there is no guarantee."
Although no evacuation has been ordered at this time, the Governor asks all property owners to be aware of the potential for flooding and to prepare to evacuate if necessary.
Evacuation is encouraged for those in the affected areas.
"In South Dakota, we help our neighbors," Gov. Daugaard said. "I encourage those who are not affected directly by this flooding to come to the aid of those who need help."