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Published May 23, 2013, 07:20 PM

Officials: Residents can return to Cavalier Friday morning, but should be prepared to leave again

People of flood-threatened Cavalier are breathing a sigh of relief. Residents will be able to return home after 7:00 tomorrow morning. They've been under a mandatory evacuation since Tuesday night.

People of flood-threatened Cavalier are breathing a sigh of relief. Residents will be able to return home after 7:00 tomorrow morning. They've been under a mandatory evacuation since Tuesday night.

Officials I spoke with today are optimistic. They say the water near the Renwick Dam is now dropping about one tenth of a foot an hour.

A sign still flashes Congratulation Graduates in the middle of Cavalier. The graduation ceremony is set to go on as planned Sunday afternoon. Starting Friday morning, officials hope everything else will go on as usual as well.

Barbara Whelan, Public Information Officer: "Although it's still a critical situation, things looked to be stabilized."

Stabilized for now, but the local sheriff reminds residents to be prepared to evacuate again if needed.

Brian Erovick, Pembina County Sheriff:" Keep a bag packed. Maybe in their cars even and just be ready to go at a moments notice."

Officials credit a temporary dike that was built early Tuesday morning for saving the Renwick Dam from failing so far.

Brad:" I'm satisfied that what we did worked."

Barbara: "Those constructed dikes as well as Renwick Dam are still functioning the way they're supposed to."

It just so happened that crews were already headed that way to begin a roughly year-long project to improve the more than 50 year old dam.

Brad: "This is why we're building the project is to prevent flow through the auxiliary spillway."

A crew of about ten worked several hours building the temporary dike. They used nearby material and equipment.

Barbara: "It just happened to be that there was equipment even out there. They just hopped into the equipment and built it up."

Whelan calls it North Dakota ingenuity.

Barbara: "People doing what they have to do when it's right there and having the skills to do it."

Authorities say residents should not try to get into town sooner than 7 am. They will be turned away from checkpoints and not allowed to park on the side of the highway.

Officials say there's still significant stress on the sewer system. Because of this, sump pumps can't be drained into the public system for now. Also, water use should be limited.

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