Flooding in the Black Hills to Start Sturgis Rally
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — Residents of Custer are cleaning up after what an emergency services official calls a hundred-year flood that shut down the southwestern South Dakota city.
The National Weather Service says thunderstorms stalled over Custer on Friday afternoon and dumped more than 5 inches of rain in 2-3 hours. Rainwater swelled French Creek, causing severe flooding that prompted road closures and some evacuations in Custer.
Custer County emergency services director Mike Carter says he closed the city of Custer until late Friday night, not letting anyone in or out. Carter estimates the town's population of nearly 2,000 swelled to more than 7,500 with the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally nearby.
About 700 residents had lost electricity, but power was restored. Carter says at least a dozen people had to be rescued from the water, but no one was hurt.
Meanwhile, two crew members had to be rescued when a freight train derailed after hitting a washout.
Pennington County authorities say the eastbound Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad derailed early Friday when the train came across a washout caused by flash flooding in New Underwood.
The three locomotives and about 15 cars derailed. The lead locomotive ended up on its side and partially submerged in water.
Authorities say the two-person crew was rescued from the lead locomotive. The crew members' injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening, and they were taken by ambulance to Rapid City.
The 60-car train was carrying clay, cement and scrap metals. No first responders were hurt.
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