May 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm
Governor Jack Dalrymple has directed the North Dakota National Guard and state agencies to assist in flood-fighting efforts in Pembina County. The National Guard began using helicopters today to stage equipment and supplies in Pembina County and to prepare to provide security within the city of Cavalier.
Cavalier Mayor Ken Briese has called for a mandatory evacuation starting at 7 pm. Construction crews built a temporary levee overnight at the nearby Renwick Dam in hopes of keeping the Tongue River from spilling over and carrying flood waters downstream to the town of about 1,500 residents.
Heavy rainfall has swollen Lake Renwick, area rivers and creeks and has caused overland flooding at Crystal, N.D., and other areas of northeastern North Dakota. Parts of the region have received as much as 6 inches of rain in recent days.
State Water Commission (SWC) engineers began monitoring Renwick Dam and 11 other area dams and are assisting in 24-hour observations of the dam and spillway. They also continue to provide technical assistance to local officials. Other state assistance includes:
· The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) is on the scene coordinating efforts to monitor water conditions, request equipment and resources as needed, and assist local officials with evacuation planning and overall preparedness.
· About 50 North Dakota National Guard members have been mobilized to aid in the flood threat. The National Guard is providing security, additional air support and transportation of one-ton sandbags in the event they are needed to reinforce Renwick Dam’s spillway.
· The North Dakota Department of Health’s operations center was activated last night and officials assisted in the relocation of 42 residents from Cavalier’s Wedgewood Manor care facility and 20 residents from an assisted living center. The department mobilized buses capable of accommodating wheelchairs and stretchers for use during evacuations.
· The North Dakota Department of Human Services (NDDHS) continues to work with NDDES and the American Red Cross to provide shelter accommodations and mass care support if needed. NDDHS is also working with local officials to assess the safety and evacuation needs of individuals who are receiving in-home and community-based services and care.
· The North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) has additional troopers in the Cavalier area to enhance roadway and public safety services.
· The North Dakota Department of Transportation is monitoring roads in the area to identify flood hazards and roadway damage. Department officials have reinforced certain stretches of roadway with rip rap to prevent roads from washing out. They are also responding to road closures and working with the NDHP to maintain roadway safety and integrity.
RESIDENTS WITH QUESTIONS ARE URGED TO CALL 211 OR 701-235-7335
Pembina Hwy 12
Photo: R Cunningham