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South Dakota Residents Urged to Evacuate Amid Pending Flooding

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(PIERRE, S.D.) -- The governor of South Dakota is urging residents in three cities to leave their homes as flood waters from the Missouri River approach the state.

Although the evacuations are not mandatory, Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants people living in Pierre, Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes to get out of the area by Thursday night.

"I ask that all residents in flood-threatened areas evacuate their homes by 8 p.m. on Thursday night," Gov. Daugaard said in a statement Wednesday, referring to residents in Pierre and Fort Pierre. "The Corps will begin to increase water levels on Friday morning, and releases will increase by 50 percent by June 5."

In a separate statement also issued on Wednesday, the governor said, "We hope that levees will protect Dakota Dunes from flooding, but residents should assume the worst.  Every homeowner should take individual action to secure their property and we recommend that they be ready to be out of Dakota Dunes by Thursday evening."

Police officers relayed the governor's request to residents Wednesday night, going door to door in the affected areas.

Despite the warning, some residents, like Jayme Deis in Pierre, are refusing to leave their homes.

"We're gonna stay here through Sunday and if it looks like we're gonna get into trouble then we'll pack up and leave," Deis said.  "We have everything ready to go so we can be out of here in four hours."

"I think the levees gonna hold fine. They're doing a really good job building it," he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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