DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. (KCAU) – After record flooding around Siouxland in 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers is keeping a close eye on projected water levels in 2020.
On Tuesday, the Corps said though we might get some minor flooding, it will be nothing compared to the 2019 historic floods.
Rising waters in 2019 impacted many communities in Siouxland.
“The biggest frustrations was having to deal with it three separate times and also the uncertainty up to those type of events because you don’t know what exactly the river elevation is going to get to,” said Jeff Dooley, district manager of Dakota Dunes Improvement District.
That frustration has communities along the river already looking ahead to a possible threat in 2020.
“A couple of areas this year where we had to build some temporary sandbag measures which we have now made permanent with berm and levee type structures. We also had some issues with some storm sewers. We now have some more permanent pluggings solutions, too,” said Dooley.
Those solutions were needed last year when river waters continued to rise and threaten homes, forcing Dunes residents to evacuate multiple times.
“It’s frustrating with people trying to process all the information we are putting out and trying to understand it and trying to understand what their next steps need to be,” said Dooley.
Across the river, in South Sioux City, the campground and soccer fields were flooded as well.
“We suffered three times in the park and not just the park, in the city too,” said Gene Maffit, South Sioux City parks director.
Preventative measures are already in the works.
“It would entail maybe a berm or wall of some sort to protect the campground the lower part from flooding and try to protect some of that area,” said Maffit.
The Army Corps of Engineers said the floods of 2019 continue to impact residents. They hope the year 2020 will be one of recovery.
“Most of the time they do a good job but there are times when Mother Nature takes over and that happens,” said Maffit.
Last year, runoff was at 60.9 million acres feet whereas this year is estimated to be around 36 million acres feet, almost half the amount as last year.
Of course, it’s important to note that the estimate is not set in stone.