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Published May 20, 2013, 10:36 PM

Crystal, ND flooding prompts voluntary evacuation

The rain keeps falling as residents of Crystal, North Dakota battle the worst flood they've seen since 2004. The situation in Crystal has become so dire that Mayor Larry McCullum ordered a voluntary evacuation for those who live on the west side of the town.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

The rain keeps falling as residents of Crystal, North Dakota battle the worst flood they've seen since 2004. The situation in Crystal has become so dire that Mayor Larry McCullum ordered a voluntary evacuation for those who live on the west side of the town.

It was only a few weeks ago when the snow was melting that Crystal was two feet away from the levels seen in 2004. Mayor McCullum told me today that they'll be looking at a new record by the end of the day.

While residents in Grand Forks might just see it as rain, residents in western Pembina county see it as a catalyst.

Larry McCullum, Crystal Mayor: "It's all overland flooding again and it's rushing fast."

The call came in at eight this morning that something needed to be done about the rising river levels.

McCullum: "We've been going non-stop and it'll be a long night tonight."

The residents of Crystal, North Dakota have put their lives on hold as they volunteer their time to help battle a record setting flood. In a town of less than 200 people, nearly 100 have come to help including the hoople fire department.

McCullum: "We have a great fire department, and good town support that's been behind it all the time."

More than 8,000 sandbags had been filled by the early afternoon and they've been placed in trouble spots on the western side of town like the school and rural homes.

Greg Gust, National Weather Service: "Those are moving overland, water moving overland and again it's not widespread in the sense of spring time flooding that we get but it's pretty big."

Rescue efforts are currently at a "stand by" until they can figure out how to properly fight the rushing waters.

McCullum: " We got to keep trying to fight it. And you do the best you can with the resources you have and just keep on making your best efforts."

Voluntary evacuation efforts began around 6:00 pm.

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