Watertown leaders preparing for flooding

Published: Mar. 7, 2019 at 9:23 PM CST
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Eventually all of the snow we have on the ground will melt, and all that melting could lead to flooding problems for property owners, especially those in low lying areas.

"I've had devastating problems on Lake Kampeska as far as flooding," said Doris Wilkey, Property owner on Lake Kampeska.

Leaders with Watertown and Codington County are already preparing for potential flooding in the coming weeks and months.

"At this point we're looking at minor flooding in low lying areas and the chance of some moderate flooding," said Jim Sutton, Director of Codington County Emergency Management.

Certain areas around the lake have been known to flood in the past.

Property owners on Lake Kampeska in Watertown need to make sure they monitor water levels in the coming weeks.

"We don't know what the future brings, but we're planning for the scenario of a lot of water," said Sergeant Troy VanDusen, Public Information Officer in Watertown.

Doris Wilkey has dealt with many floods over the many years she has lived on the lake.

"In 1997 I had four feet of water in the old store, two feet in my house, two feet in every building we owned, and it was disastrous," Wilkey said.

That flood in 1997 taught her how to prepare for ones in the future.

"Be sure that if you were in a flood and you could manage it, make sure you raise everything up if you could not stop the water from coming in," Wilkey said.

In the coming days, officials want to see home and business owners move snow away from their property if possible.

"Just take steps and be proactive for your own property, move that snow if you can get it away from your residence," said Sgt. VanDusen.

Watertown is anticipating an additional five to ten inches of snow this weekend.