Interstate to reopen as river recedes

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — Crews have started taking down sandbags and other containers that were blocking a section of Interstate 29 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. They'd been put there as a temporary levee, as the Big Sioux River headed toward a crest that forecasters believed would set a record.

But the river -- which wasn't expected to reach that crest until tonight -- instead crested overnight, and at a level a couple of feet below the record.

Days of thunderstorms upstream had swelled the river, threatening homes and businesses in three states.

The temporary levee that was built across a section of I-29 forced motorists to make detours along country roads. But National Guard soldiers and state workers started dismantling the levee this morning. The governor's office says the highway should reopen later today.

Floodwaters are still blocking many of the roads connecting South Dakota and Iowa between Sioux Falls and Sioux City.

%@AP Links

157-a-10-(Joe Kelly, deputy director, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in AP interview)-"deluge type rains"-Joe Kelly, with the Minnesota Emergency Management Agency, says the state is used to rain in the spring, but not what's happening now. (20 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *157 (06/20/14)££ 00:10 "deluge type rains"

156-a-12-(Joe Kelly, deputy director, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in AP interview)-"ahead of them"-Joe Kelly, with the Minnesota Emergency Management Agency, says they are just at the beginning of the response phase. (20 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *156 (06/20/14)££ 00:12 "ahead of them"

APPHOTO RPDL107: A group of South Dakota National Guard soldiers load sandbags from a levee across Interstate 29 that blocked traffic between Iowa and South Dakota, Friday, June 20, 2014, in North Sioux City, S.D. The National Weather Service says the Big Sioux River where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet already crested at a level lower than expected. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers) (20 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO RPDL107 (06/20/14)££

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.