City increases flow from Pactola Reservoir, waters close bike paths
UPDATE 2:15 — City officials this afternoon have closed additional areas of the city’s bike path due to rising water levels in Rapid Creek. The new closures affect the bike path areas beneath the I-90/West Boulevard bridge, the Fifth Street bridge and the path near Waterloo Street and Omaha Street near Roosevelt Park.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Multiple bike paths in Rapid City have been closed after the city increased the flow of water from Pactola Reservoir into city spillways.
The bike path on Cambell Street near the KIA dealership is now closed after rising waters reached the path Monday afternoon. This path joins others that have already been closed, including the path crossing beneath the Mount Rushmore Road bridge, beneath the Canyon Lake Drive bridge, and west of the 4-H Building at the Central States Fairgrounds.
The city increased the flow from the Pactola Reservoir in response to a recommendation from the Bureau of Reclamation. This is the third increase the city has made in the last week.
With the increased releases from Pactola Reservoir and additional inflows into Rapid Creek through Rapid City, officials advise the public to use caution if they are near Rapid Creek and not to cross flooded areas of any depth.
As of Tuesday morning, most areas of Rapid Creek are at least four feet deep and running over 300 cubic feet per second. In Rapid Creek, much of the danger is related to trees, debris and unseen hazards located under the water. These obstacles have the potential to catch an unsuspecting victim.
Because of wet, slippery and potentially unstable stream, creek and river banks, it is strongly encouraged that individuals avoid activity around moving water until water levels subside and stream flows moderate.