THUMBS UP to Thursday’s news that Highway 18/281/50 east of Lake Andes has been re-opened. The stretch of road has remained flooded since March, creating major access issues for Lake Andes and the Yankton Sioux tribal housing development northwest of town. The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) raised the grade and included other improvements.

On The Mend

THUMBS UP to the news that former South Dakota Sen. Larry Pressler’s bladder cancer is in remission. In a radio interview, Pressler, 77, said he underwent successful cancer surgeries, followed by chemotherapy, at John Hopkins University in Baltimore. He said his aim is to return to the classroom and teach government-related classes at either George Washington University or Georgetown University. It’s good to have Pressler back in form and we wish him well.

River Running

THUMBS DOWN to the news that Missouri River releases at Gavins Point Dam will remain at 70,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) until the end of September. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that news in a conference call Thursday, and it’s hardly surprising. However, it’s especially bad news to people in the lower end of the river basin (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) who are still coping with flooded fields and breached levies. A lot of what happens down there depends on what happens at Yankton. Making matters worse, rainfall of up to 5 inches is possible in the next several days across Kansas and Missouri, further compounding matters. For now, people all along the basin can only wait to see what the next month brings.

Winter Warning

‘Tis the season for winter weather predictions to start popping up, and as such, THUMBS DOWN to the unpleasant forecast issued this week by the 2020 Farmers’ Almanac. The publication is predicting a “polar coaster” for two-thirds of the country, with the coldest regions being the northern Plains and the Great Lakes area. The publication’s website even has a map that shows the upper Plains shaded in dark blue under the words “Frigid & Snowy.” The Almanac also predicts a cold, wet start to next spring. None of that is good news, but it’s also just a long-term prediction and certainly subject to change. Nevertheless, it’s something to think about as summer winds down and fall creeps in.


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