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Significant flooding throughout county

A historic storm system moved across the central United States March 12-14, according to the National Weather Service. This storm system produced blizzard conditions, heavy rainfall and severe storms.

Snow melt and heavy rains have led to historic flooding in many portions of South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska. The city of Tea and all of Lincoln County were impacted by the rainfall and melting snow.

Lincoln County issued a no travel advisory on March 13, as many country roads were under water and impassible. The Department of Transportation, County Highway and Townships tried to mark closed roads. However, there were not enough signs to mark every road that had water flowing over it. Highway officials asked everyone to avoid township roads whenever possible, and to be cautious driving on county and state roads during the spring thaw/rain event.

The message for the weekend was, “Do not drive through water going over the roads. Turn around, don’t drown.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Swenson said as of last Friday there had been 49 emergency calls for service related to the flooding.

“There is a lot of damage to roads and possibly bridges, however we won’t know the extent of the damage until the water goes down,” Swenson said.

The country roads were not the only ones affected, of course. The city of Tea saw significant impacts within city limits. First Street and 468th Avenue were flooded.

“This storm hit at the worst possible time. The ground is frozen and saturated from last fall’s heavy rain event,” said Kevin Nissen, City of Tea Planning & Zoning Administrator.

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