SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The City of Sioux Falls is installing a trap bag system to prevent flooding in a vulnerable neighborhood along the Big Sioux River.
Property owners are still recovering from last week’s flooding during which 17 people were rescued. Between 800 and 900 tons of sand have been brought in to fill the trap bags to protect more than 80 homes from flooding early next week. That’s nearly enough sand to fill 40,000 sandbags.
The trap bag system is a wall of 2-foot tall plastic bags filled with sand and open on the top to allow water to fill the bag before overflowing.
Sioux Falls engineer Brad Ludens tells the Argus Leader the trap bags have been used successfully in Fargo, North Dakota and other communities.
The South Dakota Air National Guard in Sioux Falls is on alert and making preparations for flooding next week.
Military officials say they’ve moved their F-16 fighter jets to an alternate airfield and pre-staged other equipment in case they’re called upon to assist in the flood efforts. KOTA-TV says crews have been stockpiling sandbags for the past few days to protect its millions of dollars in assets and property.
Offutt Air Force base in Omaha is still recovering from last week’s flooding in Nebraska. A third of the base was covered in water even after crews used nearly a quarter of a million sandbags and hundreds of flood barriers to try and protect the military installation.