Gov. Dennis Daugaard has requested emergency assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deal with the imminent threat of Missouri River flooding in Pierre, Fort Pierre and possibly other downstream communities in South Dakota.
Because the Corps is drastically increasing the amount of water released from Missouri River reservoirs to cope with heavy inflows from the mountain snowpack, plains runoff and an extended period of rain this spring, significant flooding is likely in areas adjacent to the river.
"If projected flooding occurs along the Missouri River, particularly in the Pierre and Fort Pierre area, infrastructure and residential areas will be threatened," the Governor said. "Some lowlying residential areas will be inundated, forcing residents to evacuate their homes and find emergency shelter. If water levels remain high for an extended period of time, those residents may be forced to find short-term and long-term housing."
Gov. Daugaard said some roads near the Missouri River also may be flooded, and federal assistance is needed to ensure that residents have access to emergency medical services and basic needs. Sewer systems, water treatment plants and electric substations also will be at risk, he said.
"Protective measures by residents and local governments must start immediately," Gov. Daugaard said.
The Governor is requesting direct assistance from the Corps of Engineers to construct temporary levees, deal with road flooding and provide emergency supplies, including such things as sandbags, pumps and auxiliary power sources.
The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management already is coordinating state-level preparedness efforts to support cities and counties that will be impacted by the flooding, Gov. Daugaard added.
"Information on areas of concern, resources on hand and resources needed is being provided the state via county emergency managers," the Governor said. "State agencies are using this information to stage resources and prepare to provide technical and other assistance."
Gov. Daugaard also signed an Executive Order on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, to declare a state of emergency and make state resources available in support of local government efforts to
protect the lives and property of those in flooded areas.