No relief in sight for Lake Thompson

LAKE THOMPSON, S.D. (KSFY) - Summer is here, but the flood worries haven't receded for many in the region.

That includes people who live around Lake Thompson in Kingsbury County. Roads that have been repaired are now back under water, leaving people without easy access to their homes.

"The waters just keeps rising," Kingsbury County Emergency Manager, Cindy Bau said.

It all started in March, but July hasn't brought much relief. Homes are still flooded and Lake Thompson keeps rising. Homeowners haven't been able to enter their flooded homes for some time now. Other people who live in the area can't get to their homes due to flooded roads.

"But now we have worked something out with Game, Fish, and Parks to gain them some access soon over there and then of course it's not just here it's all over our entire county," Bau said.

Water is also spilling over township and county roads. Roads that have been fixed are now back under water.

"Right here at the entrance to the state park the road that goes around this site that road is not gone but it's underwater so far that they can't drive through it anymore," Bau said.

People who live in the area have been forced to use ATV’s just to get through, but now the water is too deep for those too.

People in this area have to leave their cars at the entrance of the state park because it's unsafe to drive.

"And then they’re on foot until they get a certain distance in and then they can pick up on four wheelers," Bau said.

Kingsbury County leaders are waiting for FEMA inspectors to make their way here, but they do have plans in place to get mitigation grants that could come through quicker, and solve some of these problems.

"A 404 would go through the state office and that can be a two to four year process to raise the road," Bau said.

Bau believes contractors could build through the roads with the water still there but it wouldn't be ideal.

"I mean that's going to have to evaporate a lot of it before it's going to go down much," Bau said.