Big Sioux River crests; I-29 reopens

Published 3:12 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. — A swollen river that threatened homes where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet crested earlier and at a lower level than expected early Friday. Minnesota officials toured waterlogged areas of that state, saying the severity and breadth of flooding make a federal disaster request a near certainty.

The less-serious crest of the Big Sioux River prompted crews take down sandbags and other containers blocking a section of Interstate 29 that acted as a temporary levee to protect an at-risk South Dakota city.

The road, which Lt. Gov. Matt Michels said remained dry while closed, reopened Friday afternoon. But some buildings, farmland and roads remain flooded, Michels said.

“Do not drive on a road with water. It may not be there,” he said.

The National Weather Service had predicted earlier that the river would hit a record high around midday, but then said it crested at Sioux City, Iowa, around midnight a couple of feet below the previous record.