A pile of relief

North Sioux City residents have dispatched of sandbags used in flood fighting efforts at a vacant property on Military Road. The threat of floods still loom, but conditions are improving. 

Greg Forbes, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY | Siouxland's dry down continues, but saturated grounds and bank-full rivers raise some concern because there's still rain in the forecast.

“If we get any heavy storms, we could get into a flash flooding event,” said Tim Masters of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Flash flood watches were still in effect Sunday afternoon for communities along the Missouri, Big Sioux and Little Sioux Rivers and the surrounding areas.

Masters said a break in the rain, a cool down in temperatures and a steady breeze have allowed some of the rivers to fall back into their banks.

But he noted that the Little Sioux River near Correctionville, Iowa, was still three feet above flood stage. He said it's expected to be below flood stage by Thursday.

However, rain is in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

While communities sit in limbo between improvement and risk for another flood, Gary Brown, emergency services manager for Woodbury County, said the only thing to do is wait and see.

“We’re watching, monitoring and we’ll react to what happens,” he said.

Ray Roggow, emergency manager for Union County, S.D., said residents have started to clean up from last week’s event as old sandbags are piled high at a vacant property on Military Road in North Sioux City. Work will continue to fix and reopen roads still closed throughout Union County.

Roggow said waters have receded to a point where North Sioux City is clear from potential flood threats for the time being, but whether or not cleanup efforts are premature remain to be seen.

“It’s something we have to watch,” he said. “We’re hopeful that we quit getting these 3 inches of rain at a time.”

Roggow also advised residents who had standing water in their homes to contact the Union County Emergency Services department for damage analysis to help determine the possibility of damage assistance. 

As waters recede, Brown has had the opportunity to analyze first-hand the damage left behind.

“There’s a lot of erosion damage, crop damage, basements that got wet and storm damage throughout the tri-state area,” he said. “I’m surprised at the number of dollars that have gotten lost here. It’s been a very devastating week.”

But Brown said with an improved forecast, brighter days are ahead. 

"The forecast is improving, the creeks are going down and that’s what you want," he said. "You want a clear forecast. Every hour you go without rain is an hour to your advantage."

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