In March 2019, Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas were inundated with water. The combination of heavy rains and melting snow caused rivers, lakes, and ponds to overflow their banks sending gallons of water into the streets and unfortunately, into people's homes.

Sioux Falls received over 2-1/2 inches of rain. The rain combined with some major snowmelt causing widespread flooding in and around the city.

Get our free mobile app

Lots of Sioux Falls basements got flooded and had sewage backups. Sioux Falls city fire and police departments had to rescue people stuck in their houses and stalled vehicles.

"A historic storm system moved across the central United States March 12-14, 2019.  This storm system produced blizzard conditions, heavy rainfall, and severe storms. The rapid northward movement of warm air with this system led to extended periods of fog, but also rapid snowmelt in the region." - National Weather Service

MORE: FLASHBACK: The Sioux Falls Tornadoes of September 2019

Sioux Falls Flooding March 13, 2019

FLASHBACK: The Sioux Falls Tornadoes of September 2019

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.


I took a drive around town to see the flooding going on. Some of the sights I expected to see. Some were quite unexpected.

I drove down by the Empire Mall and saw cars stuck in the floodwaters in front of Taco Bell on Louise Avenue. Although Louise was closed at 49th Street, you could still get to Target and Kohls and the mall by going into the parking lot and crossing Louise. The flooding didn't actually start until you were just past Target.

Along 57th Street I saw a couple of stalled vehicles in the east end of the tunnel under I-229. The soccer field at Farm Field Park is now an ice field. Chunks of ice have been pushed up into the field creating a site I have never seen before. I also noticed trees had the bark stripped away on their upstream sides by passing debris.

I was going to head downtown as I heard the river was insanely high. On the way, I went by I-229 and Cliff Avenue. I was shocked to see Cliff was closed at the Get N Go just south of the Interstate. I stopped at the gas station and got some photos and video. The attendant said they might have to close and leave if the water got any higher. Water was over the road from the Spencer Park driveway across the street to the bike trail area. The lion's head water fountain is completely underwater.

Downtown the Greenway Amphitheater was underwater but visible. I saw a garbage can with its bag still inside it floating down the fast-moving river. Other large pieces of debris, mostly logs, and chunks of ice, moved quickly through the water. Falls Park was what you would expect, except I had never personally seen the falls as angry and congested as they were today.

If you're fighting the flooding, my heart goes out to you. I saw houses along I-229 that had been inundated by water. Good luck and God bless!

More From KKRC-FM / 97.3 KKRC