March 19, 2019

Emergency Management

If you see something, say something[1]

UPDATE 3-16-2019 1022 HOURS

We continue to monitor water levels on both the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River.  Overnight, the Jefferson bridge at Union County Road 7 at The Big Sioux River was closed due to rising water. One person was rescued from this location at approximately 4:00 AM this morning. As of this time, The Big Sioux River has crested at Hawarden IA and Akron, IA. (according to The gauge at Richland and the Big Sioux River is giving erratic readings at this time. Expected crest of the Big Sioux River at Sioux City is at approximately midnight tonight at 30.6 feet.

The releases from Gavin’s Point Dam on the Missouri at Yankton is currently at 73,000 cubic feet per second.  Overnight observations at locations along the Missouri River in Union County indicated a rise of approximately two-three inches.  We continue to monitor and we are communicating with The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management EOC and the United States Army Core of Engineers.

The shelter operated by The American Red Cross at West Middle School in Sioux City (3301 W 19th ST) remains open at this time.  So far, they have not had anyone check into the shelter. We will continue to offer this shelter until 6:00 PM tonight unless we see a need to remain open.  If a need arises after 6:00 PM, we will reopen the shelter.

In order to not stretch our resources, please continue to stay off the township roads in Union County. These roads have sustained heavy damage and they are not passable.  We are cautiously optimistic about the levels of the Missouri River; however, the roads around the river are still being used by crews to enhance the flood protection and are extremely crowded. Please stay out of the areas of Dakota Dunes, Riverland Estates, and Wynstone developments to avoid congestion.

UPDATE 3/15/2019 11:00 AM

Due to effects of the recent rains, snowmelt, and unanticipated intake into Lewis and Clark Reservoir (because of the Spencer dam collapse on the Niobrara River) releases at Gavin Point Dam were raised to 80,000 cubic feet per second on March 3, 2019, raised again to 90,000 cfs, and raised to 100,000 cfs at 11:00pm Thursday night March 14, 2019.  At 5:00 am this morning (March 15, 2019) the release levels were dropped back to 90,000 cubic feet per second.

With this new information, it is believed that the Missouri River may reach elevations of 1092-1093 feet in the Dakota Dunes area and 1096-1097 at The Wynstone area.  Expected crest of the Missouri River at Sioux City is 30.8 feet and the crest of the Big Sioux River is expected at 32.9 feet. At these levels, it is expected that water from the Missouri River may inundate low lying residential properties along the river.

At this time, Union County Emergency Management and the Union County Sheriff’s Department is asking residents in Dakota Dunes, Riverland Estates, Wynstone, and all adjacent rural residences to secure their property and prepare to voluntarily evacuate.  A shelter is being set up by the American Red Cross at West Middle School in Sioux City at 3301 West 19th Street, Sioux City, IA. The shelter will be available at 11:00am.

Conditions will change rapidly.  Additional measures may be taken as parameters change. Please monitor local media, Union County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and Union County website site.

UPDATE: 3/14//2019 10:00PM

Sand and sandbags are available in Elk Point, located at the new Union County Highway shop on East Rose Street, across the street from Load King.

Due to the melting snow, recent rain, and frozen ground, several township and county roads are underwater. Because of the number of roads that are underwater, there are not enough signs or barricades to properly mark these roads as closed. Runoff levels continue to rise and are increasingly impacting safe travel. In addition, gravel township roads are extremely soft and mud filled. Please do not drive on the township roads.

Do not drive around barricades. Do not drive into standing water or water covered roads.

Please see the Union County Highway Department link (below under Flood Related Links).

Union County Office of Emergency Management

Andy Minihan, Emergency Manager

31312 473rd Avenue

Elk Point, SD 57025

u[email protected]

Call 911 for any & all emergencies.

If you see something, Say something!


Click here to view the Union County Highway System map

State of South Dakota Highway Road Conditions


South Dakota Office of Emergency Management


Sioux Falls National Weather Service



Flood Related Links:

Union County Highway Department (Road closure updates)

NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

FEMA Floodplain Maps
Local Flood Planning Contacts
Official Site of NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) –
South Dakota Flood Disaster Recovery website

Local Emergency Planning Committee information (LEPC):

 Click below for information on LEPC –
Local Emergency Planning Committee

Preparedness Links:

Emergency Preparedness for Kids
Severe Weather Preparedness Guide
Winter Preparedness Guide
Utility Emergency Contacts
MidAmerican Energy: (888) 427-5632

Last updated on March 18, 2019 8:57 am