RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Wet weather is setting records across South Dakota, but it isn't stopping tourists from visiting the newly reopened Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Pierre, Huron, Mitchell, Aberdeen and Yankton set daily Oct. 14 rainfall records on Monday, according to National Weather Service reports. Some areas in eastern South Dakota got about 3 inches of rain. Totals were lower in the west, though parts of the Black Hills got several inches of snow. Minor flooding was occurring or expected along some creeks and rivers.
A couple more inches of snow were expected in the central and northern Black Hills on Tuesday morning, and a winter storm warning remained in effect until noon. Schools in Spearfish, Lead and Deadwood started late, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.
The soaking follows an early October storm that dumped up to 4 feet of snow in the Black Hills, cutting power to about 30,000 people at one point and killing tens of thousands of cattle.
However, the recent moisture has been good for the state's staple winter wheat crop.
"Pretty much everything that's been planted is looking pretty good," South Dakota State University Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist Bob Fanning told the Capital Journal newspaper.
And Dwayne Beck, manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm east of Pierre said, "We're ecstatic. We never complain about rain in South Dakota."
Neither were tourists who visited Mount Rushmore, which had been closed due to the partial government shutdown.
South Dakota and several corporate donors worked out a deal with the National Park Service to reopen the iconic landmark for 10 days beginning Monday. About 3,000 people visited the site on Monday, according to Maureen McGee-Ballinger, the site's chief of interpretation.
"Even though we've got snow and we've got rain, you can see the sculpture, people come out," she said.