A few weeks after major flooding in the county, losses are starting to total up.
Water went over Moody County roads in 103 places during the heavy rains in September, compared with 35 places during spring flooding, said Marc Blum, county highway superintendent.
By the middle of last week, all the roads were passable again but missing gravel, he said. “It’s going to take a while to get the gravel back on it again,” he said of the many washouts. “It might be a little rough for a while.”
Three county bridges were damaged but have been filled in where areas washed out. On Thursday, county workers were filling in the side of the bridge on 486th Avenue, east of Flandreau, so it won’t wash out again.
Blum said water got to record levels in the September rains.
“I think the water was higher and was flowing a lot faster,” he said. “It’s going over roads you never saw it go over before.”
Emergency management director Terry Albers said damages are still being reported and people still are working on the spring claim with FEMA.
Between Sept. 8 and 12, Flandreau received 9.74 inches of rain with the highest one-day amount of 4.58 inches. The fall rains followed spring flooding from rapid snow melt.
On the farm
Rain flooded fields again this fall, in some cases putting crops that were planted this spring under water for days.
“There are some really wet spots out there,” said Joe Knippling, county executive director of the Farm Service Agency. “There were some flooded areas that the beans turned black. I’m not sure if they’re even useable beans.”
The fall flooding hurts an already tough year for crop farmers. In Moody County, about 30 percent of the corn did not get planted and about 10 percent to 15 percent of beans didn’t get in the ground, Knippling said. “It is a big amount.”
Crops that got planted early are looking good, and those put in the ground in a second wave of planting after some of the ground dried up might make it if a frost holds off, he said.
The third wave of spring planting is questionable. “The late planting is really touch and go whether it’s going to mature or not,” he said.
A few farmers have started combining beans and cutting silage. In some cases, equipment has gotten stuck in wet spots.
Farmers will have to wait and see on yields, but expectations are down. “Overall, I’m hoping it will be average, but I’m afraid it’s going to be below average,” Knippling said.
Homes hit hard
When heavy rains started last month Randy and Elaine Steineke ended up evacuating their Trent home for four days. Water was seven feet deep in their basement, lapping up to the top step, and surrounding their house with flood waters.
“I had been up all night watching the water come. I knew it was coming too fast,” she said.
They tied stuff down in their yard and went to their daughter’s house to stay. “This time the flood was worse than any flood we’ve seen here.”
The Steinekes have lived in Trent 28 years. The water stuck around for days, destroyed their furnace and warped wooden floors upstairs because of the moisture. The couple still is working on cleaning up flood mud and ruined belongings.
“You sweep and scrub and sweep and scrub for a few days,” Elaine Steineke said. “The water is gone from our yard now. We’re still pumping the basement. We’ll probably be pumping it until it freezes.”
The couple also has a small guesthouse and other outbuildings that had two feet of water in them, ruining mattresses and other furnishings.
“Were just taking it one day at a time,” she said. “It’s going to take a long time this time.”