Saturday, June 25, 2011

Worse flooding to come in Minot, North Dakota

CBS News: With a threat of still more rain looming, Minot [North Dakota] was bracing Saturday for the Souris River to cascade past its already unprecedented level and widen a path of destruction that had severely damaged thousands of homes and threatened many others. The only thing stopping water from rising in parts of Minot this morning are man-made dikes.

"Nobody has even seen water levels at this dimension," said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. The Souris - known locally as the Mouse River - surged past record level set in 1881, and kept going. The water has risen more than 4 feet in the past 24 hours, reports CBS Station WCCO correspondent Jamie Yuccas - and it's not over yet.

City officials were expecting the river to peak as early as Saturday evening at some 8 1/2 feet beyond major flood stage and remain there for several days, straining the city's levees to the limit and overwhelming some of them. Forecasters said there was at least an even chance of additional storms in coming days. "A rain event right now would change everything. That's the scariest," Mayor Curt Zimbelman said….

The Souris River swells above the temporary levees here, June 23, 2011. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District’s number one priority is protecting human life and they continue to provide technical assistance to communities affected by historic flooding along the Souris River. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Patrick Moes)

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