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Rapid City, S.D. — U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of South Dakota following intense rainfall.  

The flooding broke records in at least 10 places after 8-10 inches of rain fell in just three days around Sioux Falls. The West Fork Vermillion River near Parker, South Dakota (with data back to 1962) was 2 feet higher than its previous record from 2019. Big Sioux River at Akron, Iowa (with data back to 1929) was 1.88 feet higher than its previous record in 2014. This gauge also has a HIVIS camera on site.   


USGS crews are measuring the flooding on the lower parts of the James, Vermillion, and Big Sioux Rivers, as well as other creeks in the area.  


This information helps emergency responders protect people and property. The National Weather Service uses it for flood forecasts, and other agencies use it to manage flood control and response. 

There are about 150 USGS streamgages in South Dakota that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous flood measurements to verify the data USGS provides to federal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public.  


For more than 130 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.  


Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS National Water Dashboard. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.  

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The USGS provides science for a changing world. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook @USGeologicalSurvey, YouTube @USGS, Instagram @USGS, or x (formerly Twitter) @USGS.

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