Floods Across South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Areas around the state lines of South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, as well as parts of Nebraska, have seen massive amounts of rainfall over the last few days, causing severe flooding. A state of emergency has been declared in South Dakota and in Iowa. Around 400 people have been evacuated in northwest Iowa. Homes and property have been damaged and some roads, including the Interstate 29, have been closed. The area has also been hit by storms, strong wind and hail.

rock valley floods
Floods in Rock Valley,Iowa. Photo: Kbergh6 @ twitter.com

Storms and Tornadoes

The heavy rainfall and storms are part of a weather system that earlier this week brought tornadoes to Pilger in Nebraska, where one person died and 19 were injured people. The town itself sustained extensive damage, with a reportedly 50-70% of buildings and infrastructure damaged or destroyed. The storms and torrential rainfall of Monday and Tuesday were followed by a tornado warnings for parts of South Dakota late Tuesday 17 June 2014. Initial reports claim homes have been destroyed by a tornado in the small town of Humboldt in Minnehaha County, South Dakota.

South Dakota State of Emergency

Flooding has been severe in some areas, in particular Sioux Fall, South Dakota, where Governor Dennis Daugaard declared a state of emergency on Tuesday 17 June 2014.

Canton, south Dakota, was also badly hit by flooding. In fact flooding was so bad, the Interstate 29 near the Canton exit had to be closed during the evening of16 June 2014. Flood water was so high it reached the headlights of cars trapped on the highway. Interstate 29 re-opened early the next day.

For some time during Monday and Tuesday, the small city of Canton was cut off from the outside world by flood water. The flooding spread across the area, affecting Harrisburg, South Dakota, and the wider areas of Lincoln and Turner counties.

Rainfall Totals 24 Hours 16 to 17 June 2014


  • Lakefield Mines- 3.29 inches


  • Peterson – 5.14 inches
  • Sibley – 4.10
  • Orange City – 3.49
  • Sioux City Airport – 3.12

    South Dakota

  • Sioux Falls – 3.00 inches
  • Centerville – 2.95

rainfall south dakota floods

Rainfall amounts. Image from National weather service

(figures and image from National Weather Service)

June Rainfall Records

So far Sioux Falls has seen 9.97 inches of rain fall in June this year, which beats the previous record of 8.43 inches set in 1984 and we still have 12 more days until the end of the month.

Evacuations and State of Emergency in Iowa

Flooding was also seen in southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Around 350 people had to evacuate their homes in Alvord, Lyon County on Monday 16 June.

Some of the worst affected areas of Iowa were those along the Rock River, where high levels are threatening some communities in the area, particularly in Rock Rapids and Rock Valley.

On Monday the Rock River levels stood at more than 24 feet. The highest level on record stands at 28 feet from 1993. Around 70 people had to evacuate their homes in Rock Valley on Monday 16 June. The Red Cross has set up temporary accommodation for the displaced and a state of emergency has been declared.

There have also been some reports that a levee in Rock valley broke, leaving the town facing further flooding. Thousands of volunteers were placing sandbags and emergency flood defences to help protect homes and property in the area.

Sources: Argus Leader