Big Sioux River Expected to Rise Again in Dell Rapids

NWSBigSiouxFloodDells_4-10-19The City of Dell Rapids may not have seen the last of the flooding issues this spring.  The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website is predicting the river to rise above 15′ again by Thursday, April 18th and potentially reach a level of 15.5′ by Saturday, April 20th.

Weeks ago the prediction service had predicted the river to potentially be down to 12′ by Friday, April 5th, but the Big Sioux River only dropped to just under 13.5′ by that time.  The current prediction is indicating the river to stay close to the 14′ mark through Friday, but then drop to about 13′ by early next week.  This appears to be just a lull before the river again rises by mid-to-late next week.  Dell Rapids saw the Big Sioux River reach the high point of 15.98′ on Sunday, March 24th.  The current prediction shows the level to stay under that high point as of now.

Administration with the City of Dell Rapids has urged homeowners to monitor the National Weather Service forecast and again prepare for more rising waters through a message on Facebook.  You can monitor the National Weather Service’s water level predictions for the Big Sioux River by clicking this link.

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Peak Flood Waters Reached in Dell Rapids?

DellRapidsFlood2019The Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids may have seen the highest levels of flood waters.  According to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website, the peak of the flood waters of the Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids may have happened on Sunday, March 24th.  The river reached a recorded height of 15.98 feet on that day.

About 25 properties have been impacted by the flood waters by the river according to City Administrator Justin Weiland in a report he gave to KELO TV.  The community has come together over the last couple of weeks putting together sandbags, helping place those sandbags, and help property owners move possessions in hopes of minimizing the damage from the flood.

The question now is how long the flood waters will remain at the current level.  The National Weather Service’s prediction shows the river should remain at about 15.8 feet throughout the remainder of the week.  Flood waters should start to recede about Monday, April 1st with the water level dropping to just over 12 feet by Friday, April 5th.  Outlooks could change, though, with more snow that has yet to melt in northern South Dakota.  According to Jason Gearman of the Minnehaha County Emergency Management the weather forecast has really helped keep the levels below what was predicted for the flooding weeks ago.  With the flood waters predicted to stay in the “major flood” stage for another week, it will still take some time to survey all the damage caused by the flood.

You can monitor the National Weather Service’s water level predictions for the Big Sioux River by clicking this link.


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City of Dell Rapids Preparing for Flooding

DellRapidsFlooding2019_2The National Weather Service is predicting the Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids will reach near record flood levels by Monday, March 25th and stay near that level throughout much of next week, and citizens are proactively working to limit the damage as much as possible.  The NWS predicts the Big Sioux River will hit 16.3 feet, which is just shy of the 16.5 foot recorded record.  Flood stage is at 12.0 feet.  The current level of the river is at 13.66 feet.

The City of Dell Rapids has been in coordination with the Emergency Management staff at Minnehaha County.  A 24-hour sandbagging site is now open at the Dell Rapids City maintenance shop located at 24680 475th Ave.  Sandbags, shovel, and sand is available at the site and will be open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.  Residents are urged to be prepared to fill their own sandbags, however, there are efforts to get volunteers to help fill the bags.

If you would like to help volunteer to help fill sandbags, please visit the Dell Rapids Flood Relief and Preparation Facebook group to get more details on how to help,

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Eastern Chapter of SD Engineering Society Announces Award Winners

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Eastern Chapter of the South Dakota Engineering Society presents awards annually to acknowledge the accomplishments of the engineering profession and recognize engineering achievements that capture the innovative and dynamic spirit of a profession dedicated to public service. The following awards were presented at the Annual Awards Banquet on February 23, 2019:

Microsoft Word - News Release - Award Winners_ldw comments

Photo submitted in press release

Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

DGR Engineering – Dell Rapids Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements Project

The City of Dell Rapids existing wastewater treatment facility lacked the capability to provide adequate treatment of the City’s wastewater. The City of Dell Rapids is a growing community that wanted to position themselves to welcome newcomers and not be constrained by a treatment system with limited treatment capacity.

The City understood that discharge limits are only going to become more stringent in the future, and they needed a treatment system that was easily expandable and adaptable to meet these future limits. The City selected a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) because it met these requirements and set Dell Rapids up for future growth and success.  The overall project construction cost was nearly $5.8 million.


Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

RESPEC – Big Sioux River Flood Information System Project

The Big Sioux River Basin in eastern South Dakota has experienced repeated flooding in recent years. In 2014, a major flood in the lower basin revealed shortcomings in understanding and predicting flood-event behavior. In 2016, the State of South Dakota commissioned the development of the Big Sioux River Flood Information System.

The Flood Information System is a two-part web platform including access for the public and flood-response teams. The first part is a public site with access to stream conditions at over 50 locations throughout the Big Sioux River Basin and a library of over 8,000 inundation maps, representing flood scenarios for five different communities. The second part is a site reserved for state and community officials and includes access to real-time flood inundation forecasts. When flood events are predicted, the hydro-logic output is run through models and predicted inundation maps are loaded to the web platform.

The Flood Information System provides the public with an understanding of potential flood risks and gives flood-response teams accurate information for decision making during flood events.

Already in 2018, the system has proven its value during two separate events near North Sioux City. As significant amounts of rain fell over parts of the basin upstream, there was a lot of uncertainty in the severity of flooding that may occur. The Flood Information System predicted less-severe impacts than previous forecasting methods. Flood response managers had the confidence to hold off any drastic measures well in advance. The Flood Information System predictions held true, accurate to within 0.1 feet of observed flood stage.

The total project cost was $1.3 million.


Young Engineer of the Year Award – Krista May, PE

Krista May is a Project Engineer at Infrastructure Design Group, Inc. of Sioux Falls. Krista has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University. Krista has played the lead engineering role for multiple large-scale complex projects in her 8 year career. Her lead role includes roadway design, traffic control, lighting and signals, traffic impact studies, drainage, erosion control, water main, pavement marking, signage, and sanitary sewer. Krista has been involved in nearly $130 million worth of civil engineering projects. Krista is involved in numerous professional and community organizations including: Alpha Omega Epsilon (AΩE) (President), MATHCOUNTS Competition (SE South Dakota Chairperson), SD Engineering Society (Eastern Branch President-Elect), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Young Professionals Network (YPN), and Sioux Empire United Way (Emerging Leaders Advisory Committee). Krista likes to read, attend theater productions, and attend her cousins’ sporting events.


Engineer of the Year Award – Lance Weatherly, PE, MBA

Lance Weatherly is a Principal Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls providing engineering support for the Public Works Stormwater division.  Lance is responsible for the planning and execution of the $44 million Stormwater Capital Improvements Program to improve neighborhoods and promote comprehensive growth.  Lance’s professional career has spanned 15 years in the private and public sectors in Eastern South Dakota.  Lance has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.  Lance obtained his professional engineer licensure in 2008 and is licensed in South Dakota.    Lance is active in the South Dakota Engineering Society, having served in different leadership roles and is the current president of the Eastern Chapter. Lance enjoys giving back to personally and professionally to the Sioux Falls community and mentoring the upcoming generation of professional engineers.  Lance enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to explore new cultures.

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Dell Rapids 2018 Sales Tax Revenues Dip from 2017

DellRapidsTowerThe final 2018 sales tax revenue report was shared at the latest Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting held Tuesday, January 22nd.  The numbers showed a drop of 3.45% from the 2017 numbers.

The city of Dell Rapids had $1,227,419.65 of sales tax revenue in 2017.  By contrast, the city had $1,185,064.63 of sales tax revenue in 2018.  A drop of just over $42,000.

“It looks better than it did in July and August.  $42,000 less, if you look at July and August, that’s about $40,000.  That’s at the height of the construction.  That’s the way I interpret those numbers,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland.

July 2018 was an 11.68% decrease from the numbers in July 2017.  August 2018 had a bigger drop from 2017 at 23.24% decrease.  The numbers rebounded in October, November, and December with each of those three months having positive gains in 2018 over 2017 numbers.

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Papa’s Pub & Eatery To Open Their Doors Early December

David and Rebecca Ohayon Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

David and Rebecca Ohayon
Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

Dell Rapids will be welcoming a new restaurant to Main Street.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will be opening soon for all to enjoy.

David and Rebecca Ohayon are the proud new owners of Papa’s Pub & Eatery.  Rebecca is a graduate of Dell Rapids St. Mary.  “We chose Dell Rapids for a few different reasons, and it all came together so perfectly,” Rebecca explained.  “The family connection first and foremost. We wanted to be in a community where we wouldn’t be just another place to eat, such as Sioux Falls. We wanted to be some where we could make a name for ourselves. We also love unique buildings, and David is a history buff, so the minute we walked into the Opera House building, he was in love.”

Opening a restaurant in Dell Rapids has been on the Ohayon family’s radar for quite some time, unfortunately, the timing was never quite right.  “This time around, it just all fell into plac,e and that’s how we landed in Dell Rapids,” the Ohayons stated.  “We think very highly of the city of Dell Rapids, and it is a beautiful town. We also understand the need for a casual dining experience in town. We would love to fill that need, while becoming a part of the growth of Dell Rapids.”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery is named after David’s late father, Daniel.  “We know his father is with us every single day, so naming this restaurant in honor of him just made perfect sense,” Rebecca said.

Together, David and Rebecca have over 30 years in the restaurant industry.  “From dishwasher to operations director, we have done it all,” Rebecca explained.  “David is well versed in both the kitchen and the front of house, whereas I strictly stay in the front of the house.” The Ohayons also have a leadership team in place that has many, many years of restaurant experience in the dining room as well as the kitchen. “David’s management style is unbeatable,” Rebecca explained.  “You work with him, not for him, and I truly believe that is why he has been extremely successful everywhere he has worked.” David throughout the years held many positions with companies such as Spezia, On the Border, Johnny Carinos, Beef ‘O’ Bradys, The Willows at Willow Run and more. “After seeing him work so hard for others, I am glad he is finally going to do it for himself and our family,” Rebecca stated.  Rebecca has worked in the restaurant business as well, at places such as The Monarch Steakhouse, Cody’s Tavern and Grill, The Minnehaha Country Club and Johnny Carinos.

The menu will be mainly American fare with some of David’s experiences and cultural background sprinkled in. Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer other types of food such as Mexican and French along with other countries in the Mediterranean region as weekend features. “The menu isn’t quite finalized, but you can expect to see a few appetizers, burgers, steak/chicken/shrimp entrees, pastas, salads, specialty sandwiches and soup options,” Rebecca explained.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer a lunch menu, dinner menu, children’s menu as well as desserts.  A full bar will also be included in the restaurant.

David and Rebecca have four children, Mia (10), Quinn (4), Andre (almost 2) and Genevieve (6 months old).  Whether it be a weekend of competitive softball, soccer tournament or gymnastics meet, the Ohayon family enjoys every minute of life with each other. “We stay extremely busy with four children, but they keep our hearts full, and that’s what matters most,” Rebecca said.  “The greatest things in life aren’t things.”

“Obviously, the timing was right for Dell Rapids as well as our family,” Rebecca explained on why choosing to open a new restaurant.  “It has always been a dream of David’s to have his own place, and we would talk about the different locations throughout the country that we would move to, but somehow, family always kept us grounded here.  Opening Papa’s Pub & Eatery in Dell Rapids will give us a place where we can share our love and passion for food and people!”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery plan to be open Tuesdays-Thursdays 11am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. “We will eventually consider opening on Sundays in the morning,” Rebecca explained. “We want to offer an atmosphere for everyone – family gatherings, date night, business lunches, rehearsal dinners, you name it!”  Papa’s Pub & Eatery plans to open their doors early December.

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2nd Annual River Cleanup Planned in Dell Rapids

DellRapidsCleanUpDay1What started as a community project after frustrations over garbage and trash at the dam area in Dell Rapids has led to an annual event.  The “2nd Annual River Cleanup Day” is planned for Sunday, October 7th starting at 11:00 a.m.

Kiley Stone organized the annual event last year and is asking the community to join in the cleanup day to keep the local parks of Dell Rapids clean.  Stone invites everyone to the event and says that folks can start a team, bring the kids, or grab a neighbor to help at the event.

The group will be cleaning up trash, glass, and other debris along the dam and along the river.  Trash bags will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves to protect hands.  It is also suggested to wear jeans, good shoes, a bright shirt, and a hat.

For more information, Stone can be contacted at 605-254-6913 or  More information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page at

2nd Annual River Cleanup Days
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Highway 115 South of Dell Rapids Now Open

Hwy115_Sept2018A portion of the final phase of the Highway 115 project has completed.  The north bridge from 3rd St southward out of Dell Rapids was opened by the South Dakota Department of Transportation in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, September 5th.  The north bridge has been closed to traffic since December 4th, 2017 to start the final phase of this major highway construction project.

“It will eliminate the detour, which is be a big relief to the community.  It’s been a slog,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th.

Construction still continues on Highway 115 from the four-way stop by T&Cs and Dells Auto westward out toward the interstate as projects all across the state are falling behind schedule.

“T&R is doing the Tea-Ellis road, and they’re talking about not even tearing up sections that are supposed to get done this year, and calling it quits and finishing where they’re at right now because they’re not going to get to it.  Hopefully they shift some of that man power over here.  Everybody’s way, way behind all across the state right now.  We might be stuck with this late into the winter season,” Weiland mentioned during the council meeting. Hwy115_Sept2018_2

The first phase of the project, the replacement of the south bridge on Highway 115 and highway replacement to 248th St., began in April of 2016.  That section was completed in a little over a year with the bridge and new road opening May of 2017.

The second phase of the $18.8 million Highway 115 project was the replacement of the Interstate 29 interchange at exit 98.  That portion of the project was re-opened to traffic on November 29th, 2017.

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Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Gives County Report to Dell Rapids Council

MCSOLogoMinnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead along with Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Walker gave a report of what the office is seeing throughout the county.  The presentation was given during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, May 21st.

Sheriff Milstead noted that the drug cases in Dell Rapids stayed nearly the same from 2016 to 2017.  Dell Rapids had 29 cases in 2016 and 30 in 2017.  However, Sheriff Milstead said the meth arrests and overdose deaths in the county have doubled.  There were 11 overdose deaths in Minnehaha County in 2016 and 21 in 2017.

“We didn’t use to see meth overdoses, but here’s what’s happening.  Our percentage of purity and strength of our meth coming into our community is nearly 100%,” said Milstead.  He also noted that the meth epidemic is something the sheriff’s office struggles to handle.  Milstead said that over half of the violent crimes and burglaries in the county are related to meth use.

Meth isn’t the only the drug being seen in the county.  Milstead noted that seven of the overdose deaths in 2017 was related to heroin.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said the word heroin in Dell Rapids.  I never thought that I would, but heroin is in our communities now,” Milstead added.

Despite the shocking statistics given by Sheriff Milstead, he praised the council and the community of Dell Rapids.

“I have great respect for what you do and the challenges you face.  It’s really nice, actually, to come up and listen to a setback issue being a major thing that you’re handling, and you’re not dealing with a crisis that we’re seeing in other communities.  I think there’s a reason why people live in Dell Rapids. They want to keep it like Dell Rapids and will fight to keep it that way,” Milstead commented.

Officer Walker provided a few comments as well.  He noted that while he doesn’t know everything that goes on in the school, he does hear a lot.  Walker said he that he does hear a lot of the trends and said that it goes up and down every year.

“This year has been a really, really good year at Dell Rapids I think.  I’m not here to tell you that no kids are using marijuana or drinking and stuff, but I just did not hear the trend that I have in the last three or four years,” Walker said.

Walker also noted that while he didn’t hear some of the same trends in the school when it came to marijuana or drinking, he did mention that vaping is now becoming more of an issue.

Sheriff Milstead and Officer Walker also touched on other drug related items, apps and technology that the office is using or hopes to use, and social media.

The entire nearly hour-long report can be viewed in the video.

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2018-2019 School Calendars Planned

Both Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids St Mary schools have their 2018-2019 scheduled planned.  The Dell Rapids School board approved the calendar during their regular meeting on Monday, February 12th.

“This 18-19 calendar is very similar to what we’ve been doing.  The start date…we’re kind of creeping back up there to earlier in that third week (of August), which if I didn’t do that, we were right up against Memorial Day which people have also said they don’t want.  They don’t want to start early in August, but they want to be done by Memorial Day.  So in order to do those two things, this is kind of where it had to be,” said Dell Rapids Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz during the board meeting.

The 2018-2019 school year will begin on Thursday, August 23rd for both schools.  The scheduled last day of school would be Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 for both schools.  The Christmas break will run from Monday, December 24th until Wednesday, January 2nd with students returning to class on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019.  The Dell Rapids St Mary graduation is scheduled for Friday, May 17th, 2019 while the Dell Rapids graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th, 2019.

​The Dell Rapids St Mary 2018-2019 calendar is almost completely set.  Dell Rapids St Mary 7th-12th principal Casey Michel said, “We’re pretty set on it. Only thing really up in the air is Carnival date, but I have both dates on there that it could be.”

 Dell Rapids St Mary Calendar  Dell Rapids Calendar
StMary18-19Calendar DellRapids18-19Calendar


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