More moisture not helping flood situationThough moisture in southwest North Dakota is causing problems, Bismarck residents are facing the threat of losing
By: Lisa Miller, The Dickinson Press
Though moisture in southwest North Dakota is causing problems, Bismarck residents are facing the threat of losing hundreds of homes and are doing what they can to fight back floodwater.
Some Dickinson residents, along with the Dickinson unit of the National Guard, are filling sandbags in an attempt to help hold back water along the Missouri River there.
The Dickinson unit of the National Guard was sent to Bismarck May 24, Spc. Tury Escobedo of Dickinson said Monday afternoon.
“Sunday we were filling them at a rate of 2,500 an hour,” Escobedo said of the non-stop sandbagging effort.
He doesn’t mind the hard work because he loves giving back to the community, he said.
“The people we have been helping are very grateful and really do need the help,” Escobedo said.
The water has been steady for the past few days and he is not sure what’s in store, he added.
Though the threat of overland flooding is dissipating in southwest North Dakota, many residents continue to encounter flooding of a different sort — water from the ground up.
“It’s just a mess for everyone,” McKenzie County Emergency Manager Jerry Samuelson said Monday. “We are not out of the woods yet.”
Almost everyone’s basement in Golden Valley County is flooded, Emergency Manager Brenda Frieze said, adding a landslide at Sentinel Butte Hill last week has blocked the road.
Traffic has also been blocked due to landslides and ground shifting on other highways in southwest North Dakota, including Highway 22, which is closed north of Killdeer.
“It’s terrible but we are managing,” Frieze said.
Dunn and McKenzie County emergency managers face similar situations.
“There is so much water in McKenzie County that some individuals have begun to sandbag,” Samuelson said. “Residents living in trailers near the Tobacco Garden Resort area were advised to sandbag and other residents have begun to sandbag their wells.”
Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew said, along with flooded basements, a few residents have experienced flooded farmsteads and culverts on some county roads have washed out.
“The ground is so saturated and the water table is high and it isn’t getting better,” Brew said. “We had a lot of rain Sunday night. I have reports ranging from 1 inch to 2.5. And with the ground not soaking it in anymore, we had running water Monday morning.”
Samuelson said on Monday that Watford City received heavy rain and 30 mph winds.
A portion of the Little Missouri River south of Watford City has receded with no indication of further problems, but the river near Williston that went down a foot over the weekend is climbing, he said.
The river near Williston was at 28 feet Friday and it is predicted to be at 27.5 feet by today, Samuelson said.
Billings County Emergency Manager Pat Rummel said the portion of the Little Missouri River in Billings County was following the same trend.
“It is at about 13 feet right now,” Rummel said Monday. “Then it is supposed to drop a foot and by Thursday at 7 a.m. we are going to be back in the flood stage at 15 feet.”
Rummel said besides flooding along the river and low-lying areas the rest of the county hasn’t been too bad.
“All the events in Medora are going on as usual,” Rummel said.
Clean-up kits which include a mop, bucket and cleaning supplies, donated by the Salvation Army, are available to Billings County residents by calling Rummel at 701-623-4876.
Derek Daniels with the Dawson County (Montana) Sheriff’s Department said some eastern Montana residents lost phone service for a short time Monday due to flooding.
Service was restored at about noon, Daniels said, adding he had not heard of any problems due to the outage.
Adams, Bowman and Hettinger county emergency managers said they have not had water problems but will continue to monitor the situation.
However, farmers haven’t been able to get into the fields, putting planting behind schedule for many.
Calls to Stark County Emergency Management were not returned Monday.