Hill: Be prepared

BROOKINGS – According to the National Weather Service, a combination of warm weather and precipitation is expected to continue in Brookings through Thursday. 

With the ground still frozen, any rain that comes down Wednesday and Thursday won’t have any place to go, causing concern about flooding, even in areas where that’s not usually a problem.

Brookings County Development Department Director and Emergency Manager Bob Hill said that the city street workers have been busy making sure storm drains are cleared of snow and ice.

As for the public, Hill offered some advice at Tuesday’s Brookings County Commission meeting.

“The biggest thing people need to do is go in your basement, pour a couple gallons of water into your sump pump and see if it works,” Hill said. “You don’t want to find that out at 3 o’clock in the morning that your sump pump does not work.”

Downspouts will need attention, too.

“If you have a downspout, I realize you got ice in your downspout right now, but if we keep getting these 40 degree days, that ice will break loose. So, you need to go out with your shovel or pick and make some way for that water to go through the drainage system,” Hill said. “If you got snow around your house, you need to go out there and shovel a foot or two away from your house so it won’t necessarily go straight into your drain tile.”

Some homeowners might want to consider buying sandbags, he added, which can be purchased at a couple of the largest hardware stores in Brookings.

If a state of emergency is declared, the county can authorize Hill to distribute sandbags to the public, too. Until that declaration is made, however, any sandbags the county has on hand will be prioritized for use to protect public infrastructure.

Sand will be made available at the northeast corner of the Brookings County Outdoor Adventure Center parking lot for public use to fill their sandbags. Members of the public will need their own shovels and sandbags. The BCOAC is located at 2810 22nd Ave. S., Brookings.

He also cautioned that those who are not in good health should find assistance from someone in good shape to handle the filling of any sandbags, as it is hard work.

Hill directed anyone with further questions to call his office at 605-692-5212 or 211.

Contact Eric Sandbulte at [email protected]

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