Lake Thompson residents want plan to see water drained

LAKE THOMPSON, S.D. (KSFY) - People around Lake Thompson are still dealing with flooding. After a heavy amount of snow melt and rain a lot of Kingsbury County has been underwater. Residents have also been dealing with crumbling shorelines.

The people of Lake Thompson have been using ATV’s to get to their homes because of the water that has spilled over the roads.

"We don't want to drain it we just want to manage it," Lake Thompson Resident, Dan Meints said.

Lake Thompson’s flooding has been a pain for many people living in the area for a while now. They said the water overtopping their roads has gotten real old real fast.

"When you can't get groceries, you can't get propane, you can't have any emergency services," Lake Thompson Resident, Jim Knight said.

And they want state officials to do one thing.

"To decrease some of this water so we can enjoy the place we have up here," Meints said.

Dan Meints and his family have done everything they can to keep the water out.

"We’ve moved 800 sandbags,” Meints said.

Now residents are saying there is a solution to solving this problem. The lake could be down at least three or four feet if the outlet on the south end of the lake wasn't plugged.

"And that means if just some of that water could flow out the levels throughout the Lake Thompson watershed would be lower," Knight said.

They say water is being held up by vegetation and it's not flowing out fast enough but...

"Some people are worried about the threat to downstream communities," Knight said.

They’re worried that if all of the water is let go at once it would be catastrophic to neighboring communities, but even just a little discharge would help make things manageable.

"We were talking about two feet of water if we could get the water to go down even two feet our roads would suddenly be passable," Knight said.

People would feel better if this were an option since they're about three inches away from not being able to use ATV's.

"It was determined by the state water staff that that needed to be approved by the state water board who meets October 17th. October 17th is way too late," Knight said. "I’m not blaming state officials for decisions they have to make I just want them to make a decision after hearing what we have to say."

The people at Lake Thompson are waiting for state officials including Governor Kristi Noem to make a trip there to see what type of help they can provide.

They'd ultimately like to see Lake Thompson put on the State Water Board agenda sooner than October.