Local News

Vermillion River is flooding homes and farmland

todayJune 25, 2024 4

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VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — The Vermillion River in southeastern South Dakota is way out of its banks, flooding homes and farmland.

It crested last night over 30 feet.

The high water has created numerous problems; especially for the town of Vermillion, but relief is on its way.

It’s been no picnic for people living around the Vermillion River.

Follow a map of rising rivers in the region

“I’ve seen it high, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this high,” Judy Zwolak said.

The Vermillion River is way out of its banks and rushing downstream. It’s turned into a spectacle.

“I ride my bike down here a lot and the cars you see coming by here probably all day; you’d see them, so people are coming down to look, which makes sense because it is very interesting to see,” Zwolak said.

But it’s dangerous and the city has set up lots of barricades to keep people away for their own safety.

“I think that’s the biggest thing across the whole area from Sioux Falls to Sioux City and everywhere else, people are just wanting to get close to the river, close to the water and stuff and there’s a reason why we barricade certain areas; there’s a reason why detours are clearly marked where the detours are, sometimes some of the locals think they can go into areas but they can’t or shouldn’t and it gets them in a pickle,” Parks and Rec Director Jim Goblirsch said.

There are numerous areas around Vermillion that are underwater, including Cotton Park.

Due to the high water, the town was forced to divert wastewater into the river, after losing two of the three mains that carry the sewage.

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But just Tuesday the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $5 million grant to the city to help make improvements to the wastewater treatment facility.

So, similar to the rushing water they’ve been enduring, their hopes are just as high that better days are ahead.

“Thankfully it seems like it’s come down just a tiny bit,” Zwolak said.

Vermillion residents have been asked to reduce wastewater flows by limiting water usage by delaying washing clothes, running the dishwater, limiting flushes and conserving water.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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