Severe flooding shuts down Custer, back open for business Saturday

 Emergency officials gather to plan how to deal with flooding in Custer.
Emergency officials gather to plan how to deal with flooding in Custer. (KOTA)
Published: Aug. 3, 2019 at 11:26 AM CDT
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The City of Custer was shutdown after torrential rain caused French Creek (among others) to flood, prompting evacuation.

The area received more than 4" of rain on Friday. Black Hills Energy says the water reached a substation, knocking out power to more than 700 customers.

Around 9:00 p.m. evacuations were ordered and the South Dakota Red Cross set up a shelter at the YMCA.

Additionally, the Rapid City/Pennington County Water Rescue Team was dispatched to the area in anticipation of water rescue operations.

The flood waters have also caused the city to temporarily issue a drinking water advisory. Until testing is done to make sure the water is safe, they are urging residents to use only boiled or bottled water.

Saturday morning, Custer County Emergency Services director Mike Carter said there were no reported injures from the storm or flooding and he says evacuation orders for the area have been lifted. Carter says there is significant road damage in the Upper and Lower French Creek areas. Some roads are still closed but Carter says bridges appear to be okay.

Carter says South Dakota Wildland Fire is assisting with forming a recovery plan and an emergency operations group has been formed to complete a damage assessment.

Carter says downtown Custer is open for business and crews are working diligently to return all areas back to their condition before the storm.