Flooding danger low for Minnehaha County, officials say

Slow melt and low levels on the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek help absorb record snowfall.

Flood - Big Sioux.jpg
Ice chunks were a major problem during the 2019 flood in Sioux Falls. This photo from the National Weather Service shows the ice pack pushing through Farm Field Park, looking east near the Western Avenue exit off Interstate 229. Yankton Trail Park is shown under water on the far side of Western Avenue.
Contributed / National Weather Service

SIOUX FALLS - Despite one of the snowiest winters in history, Minnehaha County is expected to escape any serious flooding along the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek this spring.

The National Weather Service is predicting an above-average chance of flooding along the waterways in the area but there it's only a 50% chance of minor flooding, Minnehaha County Director of Emergency Management Jason Gearman told the county commission this week.

The reasons are low river levels, lack of frost in the soil with plenty of room to soak up the melting snow and what Gearman called a “very slow warming that is great” for a gradual melting and controlling any serious flooding.

He also said that the most recent snow north of Sioux Falls didn’t have a lot of moisture in it.

What could throw a wrench into the flooding picture however is very high levels of rain yet this spring. A storm is possible this week that could affect the river levels.


Gearman said he had a meeting with city officials and they aren’t too concerned about any flooding in the city.

This latest flood outlook was released last week by the weather service.

What To Read Next
Get Local