Power restored to Custer area after flooding causes power outage
UPDATE: 10:34 pm – The city of Custer has continued to deal with what Mayor Corbin Herman described the flood as a surge of water, and attributed it to possible debris upstream. Herman said, “there’s a good amount of damage to private property.” Several propane tanks were seen floating down French Creek, as seen in the image below.
Mayor Herman said, “it will be a busy couple of days in Custer.” The water advisory is still in effect, residents are being asked to boil water before drinking it as a precaution at this time.
Emergency Manager, Mike Carter said some of the flooding upstream was “the most I’ve seen in my life.”
Residents in flooded areas will have a safe place to sleep tonight as the American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at Custer’s YMCA.
UPDATE: 10: 13 pm- Power has been restored to the Custer area after a substation was flooded. A representative of Black Hills Energy said power was restored at approximately 9:53 pm to over 600 Custer area residents and businesses.
UPDATE: 10:00 pm live update from the field.
CUSTER, S.D. –
UPDATE: 9:16 pm the City of Cuter has issued a water advisory for residents and are urging residents and visitors to be cautious when drinking water from the tap directly.
UPDATE 8:20 pm
UPDATE: 8:06 pm the American Red Cross is opening an emergency shelter for those impacted by the storm today. Anyone affected can go to the YMCA located at 644 Crook Street in Custer for a safe place to stay. Snacks, water, comfort items and clean up kits will be available to community members as well.
The American Red Cross issued a statement reminding the public of some general safety guidelines:
- Avoid Flooded Areas – Find another route if you come upon floodwater, rapidly rising water or barricades. Barricades are put up by local officials to protect people from unsafe roads. Driving around them will put you and your vehicle occupants at risk.
- Turn Around, Don’t Down – Turn around and do not attempt to cross flowing streams or drive through water-covered roads. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car. The National Weather Service reports that nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related.
- Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit – Pack a first aid kit and essential medications, non-perishable food, bottled water, maps of the area, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries. Include essential legal and identifying documents in your kit in the event that you must quickly evacuate.
- Heed News Reports – Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information. Be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice as flooding can be unpredictable.
UPDATE: 7:53 pm Black Hills Energy has reported a power outage affecting 717 customers in the Custer area due to flooding conditions.
According to a press release from Black Hills Energy, “The outage is due to flooding that has reach our electrical substation with some equipment underwater. Electric service will be out until water has declined and crews are able to inspect and repair identified damaged equipment.”
Heavy rain in the south-central Black Hills have now prompted evacuations in Custer and surrounding area.
The National Weather Service reports 5.35” of rain fell roughly 6 miles west-northwest of Custer. Other areas report 3-4” of rain feel within a 1-2 hour period.
RC/PC water rescue has been requested and is preparing to deploy to the Custer area.
Custer County communications say first responders are dealing with an “active flood”.
Reports of areas of Main St being closed and extreme flooding near the Custer High School.
Below are some videos from downtown Custer courtesy of Charley Umbarger that show extreme flooding.
We will update on any new information as it becomes available.