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Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242
The White River near Badlands National Park is flooding. This is a dynamic and ongoing flood event. Visitors are advised to check state road conditions at http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/ for closures and alerts before travel. DO NOT approach the water. Be alert to downed power lines and all potential hazards.
Badlands National Park remains open. Visitors should watch for storm debris along all roadways. It is likely that rocks and mud may be across the Badlands Loop Road in some areas. Sage Creek Rim Road is closed to Hocking Wye. Other gravel roads in the area will be saturated; resulting in poor driving conditions. Hiking is not advised other than on boardwalk trails. The badlands are comprised of bentonite clay and volcanic ash which becomes extremely slick and impassable when wet. Boardwalks such as Door, Window, and Fossil Trails are recommended instead of surface trails or off trail hiking. Park staff is conducting assessments and responding to reports of damage and potential hazards. Visitors may report hazards to 605-433-5361.
The region has received a significant amount of heavy rainfall and snow over the last week. Total precipitation for May 2015 is at 6.9 inches. More rain is expected. Water levels continue to rise.