The Milbank Fire and Rescue team evacuated 42 people from the Twin Brooks Threshing Show at 2:31 a.m on Sunday, August 13, according to Fire Chief Kevin Schuelke. Pam Nelson, event coordinator for the threshing show, said, “The grounds were flooding with fast moving, deep water and surrounding about 25 campers. The water was too deep and moving too fast for anyone to get through, so we called 911.”
Schuelke said, “When the firemen arrived on the scene, one individual was waist deep in water near horses. Firefighters donned cold-water suits, tied off ropes, and brought the man to safety.” He said, “Firefighters used an MFD Hummer and a tractor loader from Berkner Excavating to move the people. Watertown Search and Rescue and Big Stone Fire and Water Rescue had inflatable rafts ready to go if necessary. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks was also standing by with a flat-bottomed boat.
The Grant-Roberts Ambulance Service, the Big Stone City Fire Department, and the Codington County Fire Department assisted with the rescue. Because electrical wires and equipment were under water, the power was shut off, and Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative was called to the site at 15050 472nd Avenue in Twin Brooks.
“I’m just glad everyone is safe,” Nelson said. “This is the first time in 31 years that a full day of the show had to be cancelled.” No events took place on Sunday. The show continued until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday when the tractor pull was cancelled. “That pretty much ended the entire show,” Nelson said.