In South Dakota, some blame Corps for flood threat

June 3, 2011 - 2:27 PM
Flooding Missouri River

Members of the South Dakota Army National Guard stack sand bags onto a levee in Dakota Dunes, S.D., Friday, June 3, 2011. The southeast South Dakota city is threatened by Missouri River flooding, following record rainfall across the northern Plains, and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants all residents of the Country Club area of Dakota Dunes to be out of their homes before midnight Friday. He says homeowners might not be able to return for two months. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The threat of flooding along the Missouri River has some South Dakota homeowners upset with the Army Corps of Engineers.

They say the Corps should have released more water sooner from upstream reservoirs to give itself a cushion against spring flooding. In Fort Pierre (PEER), Helmet Reuer (RY'-er) says "human error" is to blame for the water threatening his trim gray house.

Corps officials disagree. They say they were in good shape for spring rain and snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains until unexpectedly heavy rains last month in Montana and elsewhere. Jody Farhat of the Army Corps called the rain a "game changer."

Crews have built levees to protect most of the capital Pierre and Fort Pierre, but Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gard) has advised people nearest the river to leave.