Governor releases statement on Missouri River water levels

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Governor Kristi Noem today released the following statement:

“In recent days, state officials have been notified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of rising Missouri River water levels. Those levels are expected to remain higher than average for the next several weeks. Any additional rainfall could mean even higher levels.

Since this spring’s blizzard and floods, my team and I have been in regular communication with the Corps to ensure we remain responsive and engaged during this unusually wet year. While Corps officials have told us that they are confident in their ability to manage the Missouri River system, we remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring the state’s citizens have the most updated information regarding levels and are prepared should the situation change.

As a precaution against possible flooding, the Department of Public Safety has worked with several South Dakota cities to ask the Corps to review their flood prevention plans to make sure they are updated and ready if needed. We have received requests for assistance from the following cities: Pierre, Fort Pierre, Vermillion, Oacoma, Dakota Dunes, and Yankton.

I support the cities in their requests, and I urge the Corps to immediately begin that review process. Our communities need to know they are ready to respond if flooding does occur.

Many South Dakotans have vivid memories of the 2011 flood. We will not sit and wait for possible flooding to happen. We will be proactive. We will prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As I have told Corps officials this spring, the protection of people and property remains my number one priority. We continue to stay in contact with the Corps and will hold them accountable for any unscheduled increases in the river’s water levels.”