Fort Pierre and Pierre Mayors Look Back at Start of Flood a Year Ago

Flood Photo from June 2011 on Fairway Drive


PIERRE/FORT PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The Memorial Day weekend is here once again and this year’s observance will look a lot different than it did a year ago. In 2011, the holiday weekend brought flood preparations to Pierre and Fort Pierre, after word came from the Corps of Engineers that it was going to begin increasing water flows from dams along the system-including Oahe Dam. Mayor Sam Tidball of Fort Pierre says last Memorial Day weekend was quite a blur and a lot got done.

Tidball says Fort Pierre had already questioned what the spring would bring for the river as officials watched the moisture accumulate in the river’s northern reaches.

Tidball says looking back, his community worked hard and accomplished what needed to be done to hold back the high river waters.

Tidball also says city leaders can take away several lessons from the 2011 flood as well.

Meanwhile, in remembering Memorial Day weekend 2011, Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says she remembers a flurry of work by many.

Gill says she recalls feeling like the community pulled together toward a common goal last Memorial Day weekend.

Gill says some people are still recovering from last year’s disaster, but the area was pretty successful in tackling the flood challenges.

Gill says now, Pierre officials take lessons learned from the flood with them in various decisions they make.

Both Tidball and Gill say cleanup from the flood is going along well. Tidball cites Fischer Lily Park as one flood recovery story, but says street work will be an ongoing project in the months ahead there. Click below for a series of photos taken by the Corps of Engineers during last year’s flood near Capitol Creek in Pierre and at Fort Pierre’s boat ramp to see the water rise and fall throughout the summer last year.

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