On August 27th 2015, a thunderstorm caused two house fires due to lightning strikes. The storm’s rainfall was measured at 8.5 inches in the southwest part of town causing extensive flooding in that area. Specific problem flooding areas are listed below:
West of Sioux Falls – The Floodplain of Skunk Creek has the potential to affect rural homes, county and state highways, and portions of the unincorporated Village of Ellis, specifically four businesses including that of a feed supplier, a seed supplier, a propane distributor, and a contractor shop. North of Sioux Falls – The Floodplain of the Big Sioux River has the potential to affect a limited number of rural homes and some east-west transportation corridors as well as Sioux Falls and Minnehaha Rural Water wells that are located in the area. The greatest potential for damage lies in the unincorporated Village of Renner, where approximately five businesses could suffer flooding damage. Those businesses include a Legion hall, a steakhouse, grain elevator, an auto repair shop, and a concrete contractor’s shop. The most important site of potential impact is the Renner Fire Hall which if damaged could impact emergency response from the facility. In the case of this type of flooding, potential damage could also occur to the Towns of Baltic and Dell Rapids and the City of Sioux Falls.
Winter Storms Blizzards, ice storms, and extreme cold occur throughout the county on an annual basis, these storms can impact the entire county at during any one event. Damages that can occur from winter storms are difficult to predict and can be extremely damaging in terms of economic loss, property damages, livestock loss, and transportation accidents. Snowstorms can collapse buildings, ice storms can disrupt power and communication services, and the extreme cold effects the human and livestock population throughout the county. Also affected by winter storms are transportation routes, countless traffic accidents can be attributed to winter weather, from zero visibility to icy roads, this can be the most dangerous part of a winter storm. It is difficult to determine repair and replacement costs to damages resulting from a winter storm because of the numerous variables that occur within each type of storm. Past events have occurred numerous times throughout the county. The blizzard of January 10-11, 1975 is widely considered to be the worst blizzard of the century in this particular area. While there was only seven inches of snow measured in Sioux Falls, wind gusts were measured at 70 mph, wind chills dropped to 70 degrees below zero, and visibilities were below a quarter mile at the airport for a period of 24 hours straight.