The Big Sioux River has crested and water levels began falling early Friday morning.
Emergency management officials say they hope to have Interstate 29 near North Sioux City open for travel later today.
The interstate was closed between Exits 2 and 26 on Thursday so a levee could be constructed at Exit 4, in anticipation of a river crest that would push water over the roadway and into North Sioux City. With the lower-than-forecast crest, the interstate driving surface remained dry. Crews are in the process of removing the protective measures installed to prevent flooding of communities in southeast South Dakota.
“This is great news for everyone involved,’’ Gov. Dennis Daugaard said. “It was absolutely necessary to take emergency precautions to protect the public against the possibility the road would be flooded. We are grateful for all the hard work by so many people and extremely thankful that the river didn’t reach a record, potentially devastating level.’’
It will take several hours to return I-29 to safe driving conditions. An announcement will be made as the time nears for a re-opening. Officials coordinating the flood preparations urge travelers to wait until an announcement is made before attempting to travel on I-29.