Yankton farmer recovers after James River flooding

Local News

YANKTON, S.D. (KCAU)- The James River reaching historic levels over the weekend. As the water slowly lowers people are getting a look at the damage it has caused.

Yankton County Emergency Management tells KCAU they went to nearly 50 houses along the River warning residents about the rising water.

As highway 81 in Yankton’s bridge continues to be closed off due to floodwater the land surrounding it is acres of farmland.

“Out here there are over 200 acres of farm ground that is all underwater now,” said Dennis Klimisch.

Klimisch is a fifth-generation farmer in Yankton county. 

 “We have this flooding now and that’s a detriment its not helping anything,” said Klimisch.

This is the third time this year he has had to battle wet fields at his farm near the James River. 

“Delayed planting this year because it was so wet we didn’t get everything in we got about a third of the stuff in that we would normally get in just because it was so wet,” said Klimisch.

As the waters rose to historic levels the family’s barns also began to go underwater. 

“We had buildings that were in five or six feet of water that never in my lifetime or my folk’s lifetime has never seen that much water.”

Inside were a year’s supply of clay pellets for their hunting and sporting clay business that also resides on the families farmland.

“We has no idea no advance warning that this much water was coming down and it’s been very devastating to our business here and our farming and I hope we can make it through this okay,” said Klimisch.

As the water begins to recede the family is staying positive that they will overcome the devastating losses. 

“We need some nice bright sun shining days to dry things out and send the water away we don’t want anymore for a while,” said Klimisch.

Yankton Emergency management is asking those in Yankton who were affected by flooding to call 221 to report damages as they plan to do inspections.

They hoping to receive financial aid through the Red Cross or through a federal declaration.

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