March 5-14, 2010 Flooding on the White River

White River near Interior

On Friday morning, March 5, 2010, ice jams developed on the White River along Highway 44 southeast of Interior. The river rose above flood stage (14 ft) on Friday, March 5 at 12:30 AM MST and continued to rise until Friday, March 5 at 5:15 PM MST, when it crested at 15.4 ft. When the river crested, a resident near the site indicated flood waters had reached the shoulder of Highway 44 south of Interior. The river stage remained relatively steady at 14.5 to 15 feet through Monday morning until the ice jam eventually released Monday afternoon at 2:30 PM MST.

White River near  Interior

Just two days before the ice jam developed, the USGS took a photo (below, left) looking downstream on the White River near Interior on March 2, 2010 at 10:11am MST. A second photo was taken by the USGS (below, middle) during the ice jam on March 4, 2010 around 11:00 am MST. On March 8, 2010, just hours after the ice jam released, a third photo (below, right) was taken at 3:26 pm MST by Kyle Carstens, Meteorologist, NWS Rapid City. Ice left over from the ice jam can be seen on the both sides of the bank.

(Click photos for larger image)


White River south of Murdo

Another ice jam developed farther downsteam on the White River south of Murdo along Highway 83. The river rose above flood stage (14 ft) at 5:15 PM CST on Saturday, March 6 and remained steady between 14 and 15 ft Sunday into Monday. The river crested on Monday, March 8, reaching 14.9 ft at 1:00 PM CST. Just four hours later the ice jam released, and as a result, the river level quickly dropped below flood stage.

White River near White River

Below are photos of the ice jam at White River south of Murdo near Highway 83. Taken by Kyle Carstens, Meteorologist, NWS Rapid City on Monday morning, March 8, 2010, 10:30-11:15 am CST.

(Click photos for larger image)

White River near Highway 83   White River near Highway 83   White River near Highway 83

White River south of Reliance

The ice from Interior and south of Murdo flowed downstream toward Highway 47 south of Reliance and southwest of Oacoma. An ice jam developed late Monday afternoon, March 8, 2010 causing river levels to rise above flood stage (15 ft) at 5:45 pm CST Monday. The river stage continued rising overnight into Tuesday morning. The stage finally crested at 24.4 ft just before the ice jam released at 11:15 am CST Tuesday. This was just half a foot shy from the record flood stage set in March 1994 with records extending back to 1929. Two storm systems brought up to an inch and a half of precipitation through the week to the South Central South Dakota. The resulting runoff kept river levels on the White River in minor to moderate flood stages with a secondary crest of 20.8 ft on Thursday, March 11around 6:00 pm CST. The stage then steadily decreased to below flood stage early Sunday morning, March 14.


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