WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 26, 2011, 02:45 PM

Flood Fight Moving Toward Cleanup

Many parts of North Dakota are making the transition from spring flood preparation and vigilance to cleanup, though high water remains a problem in many rural areas across the state.

By: Associated Press,

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Many parts of North Dakota are making the transition from spring flood preparation and vigilance to cleanup, though high water remains a problem in many rural areas across the state.

All Red River bridges in Grand Forks have reopened, and the river is cresting in cities to the north. The border port of entry at Neche has reopened after being closed last Wednesday when a highway flooded.

Just west of Oslo, Minn., Ray Gowan on Monday was able to drive his tractor to his farm home, after using a boat for more than two weeks, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

"It really dropped overnight," he said of the river. "I think I might be done with the pontoon."

In Fargo, where the cost of fighting this spring's battle against the fourth-highest Red River crest on record has surpassed $7.3 million, officials are looking at ways to make the next flood fight easier. The city has plans to spend more than $22 million by year's end on more permanent solutions, such as making emergency clay levees permanent, The Forum newspaper reported.

City Engineer Mark Bittner said he would like to get Fargo protected to a level at which sandbags no longer are needed. The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed a $1.7 billion diversion of the river around Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., but it would take years to complete such a project.

Many rural areas of North Dakota remain flooded, especially in the Sheyenne and Souris river valleys.

The David Rostad farm near Kindred is an island, accessible only by boat or tractor, though he told The Forum that the Sheyenne was dropping.

"As long as we're dry and the house is dry, we're content," he said.

The Sheyenne on Tuesday was dropping at Valley City and Lisbon and holding steady at Kindred, according to the National Weather Service.

In the Souris River Basin in north central North Dakota, flooding remained a headache in many areas. The Big 4 Scout Camp at Minot is one facility inundated by water. The river there reached its highest level in more than 30 years, the Minot Daily News reported.

"The water is everywhere. The first rush flooded the cabin. That's when we started sandbagging the pavilion," said Parker Cochell, a Boy Scouts spokesman.

"It was fantastic," he said of last week's sandbagging effort. "Anybody with any connection to scouting helped out. We filled over 600 sandbags and placed them around the pavilion within two hours. It was just incredible."

The Souris was expected to drop a few inches at that location in the next few days.

Tags: