The Rapid City Fire Department is warning residents to “exercise extreme caution around Rapid Creek” and other moving water as snow and rain continue to pound an already saturated Black Hills on Tuesday.
Around 3:30 p.m., Rapid City officials closed parts of the city's bike path due to rising water levels in Rapid Creek. The new closures affect the areas beneath the Interstate 90/West Boulevard Bridge, Fifth Street bridge, and the path near Waterloo and Omaha streets near Roosevelt Park.
The closures are in addition to previously closed bike path areas under the Canyon Lake Drive bridge, Mount Rushmore Road Bridge, and parts of Cambell Street.
The fire department reported Tuesday afternoon that water in Rapid Creek is flowing at a rate of 485 cubic feet per second through Founders Park in Rapid City, and that water is running over its banks all along the creek. The department said fast flow is making the banks of Rapid Creek unstable, which poses risks to anyone near it.
As of 11 a.m., the Fire Department said the water in most areas of Rapid Creek is at least four feet deep and running over 300 cubic feet per second with trees, debris and other hazards in the fast-moving water.
The department is also urging motorists to not drive through flooded roadways.
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Areas in the southern and northern Black Hills were expected to receive as much as foot of snow. While Rapid City was only expected to receive from 1 to 3 inches of rain over the next two days, parts of town also received snowfall throughout the day.
The entire region is under a flood watch and a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.
Heavy snowfall in the southern Black Hills, meanwhile, has led to power outages and the closure of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, highways in the area and several businesses in Hill City and Keystone.