In 2011, a mighty flood devastated areas along the Missouri River.  The following years have been much drier, but it never hurts to prepare. 

State and local officials and representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Weather Service (NWS) will hold flood outlook and flood insurance meetings in five South Dakota communities March 17-20.

The town-hall meetings are designed to help citizens learn more about the 2014 flood outlook, as well as the National Flood Insurance Program and general flood preparations.

Recent updates have shown below normal chances of major flooding in South Dakota. Even so, citizens, especially those who live in flood-prone areas, are encouraged to assess their individual situations and take any necessary steps to protect themselves and their property. Recent flooding in Montana and Wyoming has demonstrated again that floods can occur with little warning.

The meetings are open to the public and will provide residents and businesses an opportunity to learn more about what they can do now to prepare for potential flooding. The town hall schedule is as follows:  (all times local)

Huron – Monday, March 17, 7 p.m.  Pyle Community Room, Huron Campus Center, 939 Ohio Ave. SW.

Aberdeen – Tuesday, March 18, 7 p.m.  Eagle’s Nest at City Offices (old CHS building), 225 3rd Ave. SE.

Watertown – Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m.  Classroom B, Codington County Extension Building, 1910 Kemp Ave. W.

Sioux Falls – Thursday, March 20, 5:30 p.m.  Oyate Community Center, 2421 W 15th St.

Spearfish – Thursday, March 20, 6 p.m.  Municipal Services Centre, Council Chambers (2nd floor), 625 5th St.

These town hall meetings are part of a series of outreach and education efforts the South Dakota Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, the USGS and the NWS are conducting to help residents prepare for potential spring flooding and to provide information on the National Flood Insurance Program.