Food, Community And All Things Sustainable

May 28, 2011

Flooding in Pierre/Ft. Pierre #Oahe Flood

6:00 p.m. Update: It keeps getting worse. We learned tonight that the Corps will be releasing water at the rate of 150,000 cfs. (No, not a typo.) River is expected to crest 7 feet above flood stage. Flooding expected to be worse than the 1952 flood, which inundated Pierre and Ft. Pierre. Morris Construction is hiring truck drivers and front end loader operators to help build emergency levees. Volunteers are needed.  And, please go to the area ONLY if you are there to volunteer.
2:30 p.m. Update: Sadly, it is not looking good. Gen. McMahon of the Corps says, "This is the most serious event this part of the Missouri River basin has faced, ever."   In addition, the governor is asking those traveling to Pierre/Ft. Pierre to avoid Hwy 83 and use Hwy 14 or Hwy 34. (My opinion is: it's better to be a volunteer than a gawker. If you are not there to help, stay home and stay out of the way.)

Gen. McMahon of the Corps: "This is the most serious event this part of the Missouri River basin has faced, ever." 

#OaheFlood on Twitter will get you the latest updates on the flooding in Pierre and Fort Pierre.

Currently the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 65,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) of water through the Lake Oahe Dam. Heard it described yesterday like this: a basketball is about one cubic foot. Just imagine 65,000 basketballs blowing by you in one second.

Emergency levees are being constructed on both sides of the Missouri River in Pierre and Ft. Pierre. City governments are constructing levees and sandbagging public utilities and other infrastructure. Private citizens are working feverishly to save their homes and possessions. Some have packed up and moved out.  Low lying areas experienced flooding yesterday.

Overnight the COE released some not so good news. Rain in the forecast means a ramping up of the release rate. With up to 3 inches of rain forecast for this weekend, Garrison Dam in Bismarck will increase their release to 120,000 cfs. This means Oahe and all dams downstream must follow suit.  This could cause levee failures.  The governor is telling residents to not depend on the levees saving their homes. He said to be "self-reliant" when it comes to saving their homes.

Pierre, Ft. Pierre and communities downstream WILL be flooded.

Please, if you can, volunteer.  Pierre and Ft. Pierre have an immediate need. And so do communities downstream.

Flood information is found at

To volunteer in Pierre or Ft. Pierre call the Chamber of Commerce at 605.773.7361

Flood information is also available at 866.446.5324.

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