|BEAUTIFUL VIEWS DOWNRIVER FROM THE DAM, BUT MUCH MORE RIVER THAN USUAL.|
The dam produces electricity for much of the north-central US. Sadly, after years of drought, the reservoir is now too high and gates are being opened, flooding Fort Pierre on the west side of the river and any low-lying areas of Pierre to the east.
|THE FLOOD GATES. WE STOPPED SHORT OF THE TALL GRASS, HOME TO RATTLESNAKES.|
Linda and Tom spent several days last week sandbagging to help friends and neighbors protect their homes. The Army Corps of Engineers keeps increasing the amount of water being released, with another big jump this morning. We drove down to the dam yesterday afternoon and couldn't believe the power of the water being released. We could feel the ground vibrate beneath our feet. The parking lot and visitor walkways were engulfed.
|NO SKINNY DIPPING. DOWNTOWN PIERRE. SANDBAGGED, PLUS BRIDGES AND FLOWER BOXES.|
Many homes have already been lost. More will be lost, but others may survive due to huge berms still being built and aggressive sandbagging. Pierre's downtown businesses are prepared for the worst. We love Pierre. Well, admittedly, we love visiting our family in Pierre and we tend to tease them about their choice of hometown — 95F (35C) and 95 percent humidity in summer, minus 40F (-40C) in winter; and the winds blow most of the time. But the Capitol district is beautiful. (I'll post pictures soon.) With a population of about 13,000, and with South Dakota's largest city, Sioux Falls (population 153,000), 225 miles (362 km) away, and only much smaller towns in-between, there's not a lot to do around here (at least from the perspective of this city kid). The most common activities in Pierre during summer are fishing, camping, and golfing. The campgrounds and golf courses are now under water. Fishing is unsafe. It all makes for very tough times for a lot of people.
|NO FISHING. GOLF COURSES ARE UNDER WATER. NOT MUCH TO DO.|