Big Sioux River crests below previous record

Cities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota are fighting a surging Big Sioux River after heavy rain this week pushed the waterway to record levels in some locations.

DIRK LAMMERS and DAVID PITT, Associated Press

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) â?? A swollen river that threatened homes where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet already has crested.

The National Weather Service had predicted that the Big Sioux River would hit a record high around midday Friday.

But the agency said early Friday that the river crested at Sioux City, Iowa, around midnight a couple of feet below the previous record.

The reason for the change wasn't immediately clear.

Todd Heitkamp with the weather service in Sioux Falls says the river level should hold steady and eventually recede.

Crews built a temporary levee across Interstate 29, which should protect much of the city but closed off the interstate and forced motorists onto detours.

For 2014, a hefty mountain snowpack in the Northern Rockies has driven down the summer wildfire potential and bumped up prospects that farmers in most of Montana and Wyoming wonâ??t go dry.

As for flooding, government forecasters say the coming weeks will make all the difference. A relatively even warm-up would keep streams and rivers in check. Too much warm weather and flooding could again threaten downstream communities.

Late season snows three years ago led to flooding in the Missouri River basin that swamped hundreds of thousands of acres across the Upper Midwest.


Pitt reported from Des Moines, Iowa.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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