By Sarah Pridgeon
Heavy rainfall over the last week placed county streams at flood level with severe overflow in several places. Water damage meanwhile closed several roads across the county with many still not passable at time of going to press.
Rain across the county ranged from four inches in the northwest to over 11 inches in the Moskee area. Sundance itself experienced nine inches over several days of constant rain.
Whitelaw Creek and Beaver Creek reached extremely high levels after Friday’s massive rainfall, causing Cook Lake to be placed in a state of emergency. Notifications were sent to residents downstream warning them to prepare for evacuation, though this did not become necessary.
All streams were at flood level, although not quite as high as during the 2011 floods; this caused flooding in the Beulah area from Sand Creek and high water levels from Redwater and Crow Creek in the Belle Fourche region. The Belle Fourche River itself raised about 4.5 inches in Hulett and 6.5 inches at the state line.
Several roads were closed due to flood damage, including Goldie Divide Road, the Garman Road bridge, Bearlodge Ranch Road, Sundance Road and the D Road into Campbell County. Lytle Creek is passable only to four-wheel drives.
Goldie Divide Road has now been re-opened after a temporary fix, but a number of others remain closed to the public with repair plans underway. The Houston Creek crossings at Bearlodge Ranch Road and Miller Creek Road; the Hay Creek crossing on Upper Hay Creek Road; and the Miller Creek crossing on Garman Road are closed as wash-out areas.
Recent repairs at the Mona Road bridge over Beaver Creek did, however, prevent the culverts from washing out as they have done several times before during high water. The bridge was funded by FEMA as part of the repairs from the 2011 floods.