Crystal, N.D., residents evacuate in face of flooding
CRYSTAL -- Rising waters in Crystal, a small town in northeast North Dakota, began driving people out of their homes Monday evening.
Andrew Kirking, emergency manager for Pembina County, said sheriff's deputies and other emergency workers began helping people leave already flooding homes by about 6 p.m.
He announced a voluntary evacuation effective at 6 p.m. Monday, at which time he said about 80 percent of the homes had been checked and the residents had been accounted for.
No one has needed to be rescued from water and no one has been hurt, he said about 7:30 p.m.
But the waters came up more than expected and surprised many who saw it reach into their homes Monday.
"It's a combination of overland water and flooding in Cart Creek, which under normal circumstances hardly even flows," Kirking said.
Up to 6 inches fell in the region "west and uphill of Crystal," he said. "And that's where all this water is coming from."
By Monday afternoon Cart Creek was escaping its banks late Monday, creating "massive flooding," he said.
Crystal has about 160 people and it wasn't clear Monday evening how many might have to leave, he said.
Crystal is about 15 miles southwest of Cavalier, where Kirking's emergency shelter in the basement of the law enforcement center can house about 14. Other shelters in Cavalier can handle another 50 to 60 people, he said. But many residents of Crystal are staying in homes of relatives or friends, he said.
The American Red Cross chapter from East Grand Forks, Minn., had mobilized help, he said.