South side of Dickinson locked downDickinson officials are shutting down the south side of town in an effort to make cleanup efforts easier and preserve the safety of residents.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson officials are shutting down the south side of town in an effort to make cleanup efforts easier and preserve the safety of residents.
Police Chief Chuck Rummel said the number of people driving through the area devastated by Wednesday’s storm is hampering cleanup efforts and making the area more unsafe than it already is.
“It’s dangerous down there right now,” Rummel said. “And the residents are trying to clean up and they don’t need the gawkers. It’s just unhealthy.”
Rummel said residents can still move freely through the south side on Highway 22, but access will be cut off to Fifth through Seventh Street from State Avenue to Fourth Avenue.
The North Dakota Army National Guard is assisting with the lockdown, Rummel said. The National Guard will relieve the Dickinson Police Department and Stark County Sheriff’s Office and set up a perimeter.
Once the perimeter is in place, Rummel said the police department will move through the south side of town and remove those individuals that don’t need to be there.
“There’s so many access points, that’s the problem,” Rummel said. “We’re going to secure it as best we can. Give them room for residents and crews to clean up, so there’s nobody in danger and driving around and rubber necking.”
Access can be obtained by showing a valid photo ID proving an individual lives in the locked down area.
Rummel said even though the natural gas leak on the south side that was a danger Wednesday night has been solved there is still a danger and the city is just taking the necessary precautions.
“There’s the danger of trees falling yet and there’s upside down vehicles, there is a danger down there yet, yes,” Rummel said.