Sturgis storm knocks out bridge

Bridge in Sturgis severely damaged by recent storm.
By  | 

STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Clean up is underway in Sturgis after a strong storm knocked out bridges, flooded the area, and sent debris across many of the roads in town.

The Bear Butte Creek running through Sturgis is normally dry, but after a sudden downpour on July 4, it has become a swollen nightmare. At least two bridges are completely out of commission. The one on 7th Street was damaged by the last storm and Thursday's rains sealed its fate.

"It will have to be completely rebuilt," said Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie. "We do have portions of Williams Street that are still closed as well as the bike path that goes from City Park over to 7th Street. In addition the 16th Street crossing which was previously closed is now permanently closed."

On a positive note, the newly constructed bridge on 9th Street held up well against the water and escaped undamaged.

Ainslie says a major component to this storm was the debris.

"We are cleaning up debris all around town," Ainslie said.

He said there was a lot of debris in the creek bed from other storms that had come through the area as well people discarding wood into the creek.

"It's not a magical place where you can put your logs and have it go away," Ainslie said. "We need to get people to not do that."

Large logs and chucks of wood clogged culverts and storm drains, causing water to spill over the tops of roads and bridges - damaging the infrastructure.

"We are asking everyone to clean out their drains," Ainslie said.

They plan on using snow plows to help clear off parts of the Highway 34.

Part of a Sturgis bridge collapses a day after a major storm.
A massive piece of wood forced down stream.
A map of the areas damaged by storm.