Box Elder’s flood damages are still being cleaned up by residents

BOX ELDER, S.D. – Residents of Box Elder are still cleaning up the damages that were left behind by the storm that hit the small town Friday, July 1.

The storm lead to flash flooding with several inches of rain in less than an hour, along with lightning, 60 mph winds and small hail. For some residents, this is the second time that their basement flooded. Merrill said her basement first flooded June 7.

“My builder did call me on Saturday to check to see how things are going, cause him and I have been in communication together about different things. He said that he had reached out to the developer and the city, and someone was supposed to come take a look at it,” Tamara Merrill, Box Elder resident said. “I would just like someone to fix the problem, because I can’t do this every time it rains. These last couple of times the rain was a lot and we don’t get that much rain all the time. But now every time that I get a weather warning across my phone, my anxiety goes sky high and I can’t live like that.”

Basement Puddle

Water puddles in a basement floor after carpet was pulled at left outside door after July 1 flash flood in Box Elder.

“It cost me over $3,700 the first time to get it cleaned out. As a single parent, I can’t afford to do that every month or every time it floods,” she said. “I know a lot of my neighbors on both sides of me are very frustrated because this isn’t the first time it’s happened. These are new homes and something should have been looked at before they were built and something should have been structured differently, I don’t know. With the drainage ditch, I can understand maybe a little bit of water problems, but not on a new home.”

Merrill’s house wasn’t the only one affected by the weather. Neighbors, trailer home owners and even people who weren’t expecting it took some hits and some of the damage could’ve even been personal and close to the heart.

“You know, it’s all material stuff. I get that,” Merrill said. “But there are some valuable, very personal stuff down here. For example, my mom who passed away last year, I inherited her curio cabinet. That means a lot to my family, to my dad, to me. I’m hoping it’s savable. I have a 20-year-old daughter and one of her memory books from grade school got ruined. I mean, it’s memories like that that really hurt. The furniture is replaceable, but some of that more personal stuff isn’t replaceable and that hurts.”

According to a press release from the City of Box Elder, they are investigating drainage ditch maintenance and concerns that residents have, especially after numerous citizens had to deal with water damaging their properties.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News