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Published April 18, 2011, 07:28 PM

Pembina Working to Hold Back Red River

There is a lot of water in the northern Red River valley. But like many communities on the Red, people in Pembina have turned into professionals when it comes to keeping their town dry.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

There is a lot of water in the northern Red River valley. But like many communities on the Red, people in Pembina have turned into professionals when it comes to keeping their town dry.

Ken Norby has been with the city of Pembina public works department for 21 years. For about ten of those years, there has been some kind of flood fight. This is year is another big one.

"It's been a long flood. They started making forecasts in February. So we've been preparing since February," said Norby.

Monday morning, the Main Street bridge was closed with the river level at just over 50 feet. Stoplogs have been put in place to hold back the Pembina and Red River here which are expected to crest sometime next week between 53 and 54 feet.

"So we start walking now and we will walk until it gets back down to 50 again," Norby said.

A call has been put out for volunteers to start walking the dikes. The city does have a permanent flood protection system made up of a floodwall and a stretch of earthen levees around town.

"The dikes have to be walked 24 hours a day, seven days a week," city council member Bev Burke said.

To help do that, the county has requested help from the National Guard that will arrive in the next day or so.

"It supposed to be 12, so 6 a shift. They will help quite a bit, they always do," Norby said.

"We are all getting older, and there's just not many people around during the day to help out," Burke said.

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