By Steve Peterson
The Big Sioux River at Akron and Hawarden reached flood warning status as of Monday morning.
Further rains were forecast for later that day, June 16, and off and on this week, which could affect crest forecasts, according to the National Weather Service’s Sioux Falls, S.D. Office.
As of 6 a.m. June 16 at Akron, the river’s stage was 16.23 feet — above its flood stage, which is 16.0 feet. At 1:00 Monday the river stage had risen to 16.76 feet. Water was in the ditches along Big Sioux River Road heading to South Dakota but had a ways to go before crossing the road. At 8 p.m. the river stage was 17.25 feet. Unfortunately there was a lot of rain to the north of us in the dangerous storms which hit Monday afternoon and evening.
According to the NWS, the river at Akron should crest near 22.7 feet by Thursday, June 19 then begin falling. The record is 23.4’ in 2001.
At stages near 23.0 feet, the higher levees on the Iowa side of the river are in danger of being overtopped, S.D. Highway 50 near Westfield will be flooded and the bridge east of Jefferson, S.D., will be overtopped, according to the NWS, as well as farm fields will be affected.
The NWS flood warning for Akron continues “until further notice.”
A flash flood watch was posted until midnight June 17 after heavy rains Monday.
As of Monday, the latest reading for Hawarden was 17.07 feet. The flood stage is 15.0 feet and crest was expected at 23.0 feet on June 18.