UPDATE: Homeowners prepare for flooding - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Homeowners prepare for flooding


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The Big Sioux River has crested earlier than expected, at 105.63 feet Friday morning, June 20, and has been falling since.

Crews built a temporary levee across Interstate 29, which should protect much of the city but closed off the interstate and forced motorists onto detours.

Floodwater's already block most roads connecting Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

National Weather Service links to river observations: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=fsd


Homeowners in South Dakota are working around the clock to protect their homes from flooding.

"We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," McCook Lake Resident Scott Boyle said.

And, to do that., Boyle, along with many others placed sandbags all around his home, so water is diverted into McCook Lake. 

Homeowners like Boyle living along this lake said they never worried about flooding until 2011, but back then, they had more time prepare for water levels to rise. This time around, residents were given only two days notice. 

"It's been all of a sudden a last second rush to get everything together, and we're doing the best we can," Boyle said.

"My biggest concern is what's going to happen," McCook Lake Resident John Gerber said. 

But, Gerber said those concerns have lessened by friends, relatives, and strangers stepping up in a big way. 

"It just makes everybody feel good. It's a great community, great people. I had to turn a lot of people down today because I just didn't need that much help," Gerber said.

"The community has been wonderful . There's been a lot more help than I've anticipated, and people have been going down the streets helping whoever needs help," Boyle said. 

Now, Boyle said all there's left to do is hope for the best.

Authorities went around to both Boyle and Gerber's homes to tell them there is a chance they may have to shut their water off.

Peak water levels in Union County are expected around 12pm Friday.

Authorities also suggest people give these residents their space as they have only a short time to prepare for what's to come.

State officials in Union County have closed a portion of Interstate 29 to create a berm across the interstate.

Northbound travelers can take Highway 20 west from Sioux City. Then, go north on Highways 12 and 15 in Nebraska.

Follow that take Highway 19 to the Vermillion exit to South Dakota Highway 50.

That will take you east to I-29 on the north side of the road closure, traveling south, you'd simply reverse those directions.

Union County officials are also asking that no one other than those involved in flood preparation travel on North Shore Drive in McCook Lake.

Highway 12 will be closed from Military Road north in Sioux City.

Downstream, officials in North Sioux City, McCook Lake and Dakota Dunes are trying to avoid the devastation up-river.

With the Big Sioux expected to crest late Friday morning, or early Friday afternoon, progress has been made to raise the levee protecting Dakota Dunes.

In North Sioux City, they're extending a levee across Interstate 29 to protect the city, and divert floodwaters into nearby McCook Lake, not the town, but the lake itself.

While the river will continue to rise, it won't exceed expectations.

Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, of South Dakota said, "The peak level has not changed. It'll be at noon or 1p.m., pretty close to 1102, so we're at 1096.5 right."

For reference, those numbers represent the number of feet above sea level.

The bottom line, the Big Sioux will rise another 5.5 feet by Friday.

Michels warned residents of McCook Lake that the sheer velocity of the water, flowing at 120,000 cubic feet per second, could compromise the utilities in McCook Lake.

In Dakota Dunes, officials will plug storm sewer lines in anticipation of the high water.

Officials are considering shutting down the water plant, which sits on a point by the river.

If they do, residents will still have water thanks to a separate connection to Sioux City.

But, residents are asked to shut off their irrigation systems in the short-term.

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