ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says crews will turn an Interstate 29 exchange bridge into a makeshift levee in an effort to protect much of the town of North Sioux City from flooding from the Big Sioux River.
But the governor says water from the crest expected sometime between Thursday and Saturday will likely spill into the neighborhood of McCook Lake, an area of North Sioux City of about 300 to 400 homes. It's not yet known how high the levels will rise, but some homes are expected to be damaged.
Daugaard says crews will close Exit 4 and begin constructing a levee by sandbagging the highway's four lanes and plugging the underpass. Northbound and southbound traffic will be diverted.
A meeting for residents is planned for Wednesday evening.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard activated more than 120 Soldiers today from the South Dakota National Guard to assist the state in flood response operations in southeast South Dakota.More than 120 Soldiers from the Guard have been assigned to assist state and local emergency management officials in response to the rise in water levels along the Big Sioux River. The SDNG is currently moving personnel, dump trucks and support equipment to Union County to assist with levee construction. If required, the Guard may also help with rescue and evacuation, sandbagging and traffic control missions as well.
Gov. Daugaard declared a state of emergency and opened the State Emergency Operations Center early Tuesday morning. The EOC has been working with SDNG officials to coordinate appropriate levels of response.
"The South Dakota National Guard is always willing to support our state in response to emergencies such as this," said Maj. Gen Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the SDNG. "In fact, it's one of the missions we're most proud of."
The SDNG responded to flooding in the Pierre/Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes areas during the summer of 2011 with more than 1,900 Soldiers and Airmen providing personnel and resources for filling, transporting and distributing sandbags, levee construction, providing security and operating traffic control points, as well as helping stranded citizens threatened by flood waters.
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