CUSTER COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — Custer County’s emergency manager says “do not come to town” after reports of flooding this evening. The Custer County Dispatch relayed the information to KELOLAND News. They also said “the city is shut down” due to fast-rising waters.
The county received 5 to 7 inches of rain throughout the afternoon, according to the KELOLAND Live Doppler HD Storm Center.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the YMCA.
Some areas are experiencing evacuations due to the flooding, KELOLAND News confirmed with Custer County Dispatch. They were not able to get into details yet as to the extent of the evacuations.
The main area of concern, according to the National Weather Service, is along French Creek from the Custer Area downstream to Stockade Lake. Thunderstorms have ended, but the flood risk will continue into Saturday.
This is all happening as the 79th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is bringing thousands of people into the Black Hills this weekend.
Rapid City and Pennington County Water Rescue have been requested by Custer County and are heading to the area.
US-16 at US 385 South is closed, according to SafeTravelUSA.
The City of Custer is asking people to boil water as a precaution. They issued this statement to KELOLAND News:
As a precautionary measure because of the flood the City of Custer is issuing a Drinking water advisory. Until testing is done we will not know if the water system was contaminated or not. We will be testing the water over the next few days and will notify when we are certain the water is safe. Although we feel there is a low chance of contamination the public should use caution. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food as a precautionary measure. Again, we do not know if the water is safe or not until testing can be completed, but feel that the public should be aware of the possibility.
Robert G. Morrison, Public Works Director, City of Custer