March 12 - 18, 2011 White River Flooding

After a few days of unseasonably warm temperatures in early March, river ice began breaking up along the White River on Saturday, March 12, resulting in ice jams across South Central South Dakota. 


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The White River with three river gauge locations that reached flooding.

White River near Oacoma

The gauge near Oacoma reached flood stage on the afternoon of Saturday, March 12. The river then continued to rise until it reached a peak stage of 23.01 ft at 2:30 PM CDT on March 17. At its peak, the river was well within moderate flood stage. The White River then dropped below flood stage at 1:45 AM CDT on Friday, March 18.

Gauge near Oacoma shows flooding at major flood stage.

White River near Kadoka and the town of White River

Flooding due to snowmelt and ice jams also occurred farther upstream at the gauge north of the town of White River and a second gauge south of Kadoka.

At the gauge near White River, flood stage was reach during the early morning of Monday, March 13 and continued to rise to a peak stage of 18.16 ft at 11:00 PM CDT on Tuesday, March 15. This is more than a foot into major flood stage. After some fluctuations near the crest that day, the river began dropping quickly during the day on Wednesday, March 16. Later that day it reached below flood stage at 6:45 PM CDT.

Gauge near the town of White River shows flooding at major flood stage.

During the afternoon hours on March 12, an ice jam occured on the White River near Kodaka. The river gauge at that location indicated a rapid stage rise of 6 feet within 3 hours. The peak stage reached 13.71 ft by 7:00 PM MDT which is considered minor flooding. It was at that time the ice jam released which dropped river levels to below flood stage (12 ft) within the next hour. The stage continued to drop 4 more feet through the evening. 

Gauge near Kadoka shows minor flooding for a few hours on Saturday, March 12 and the quick release later that evening.

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