Watching the River - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Watching the River

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Heightened awareness of what a flood is capable of --- has some residents feeling a little more confident about the threat of a flood fight this year.

Residents west of Minot are comparing water levels now to effects at those levels two years ago.

While they are concerned about the possibility of another flood, as Jennifer Thorgramson tells us, life experience can go a long way.

The main floor was spared but only by about three inches at the Bahm ranch in 2011.

After dealing with basement flooding and the electrical work associated with it, Bob and Val Bahm didn't get fully moved back in until January of this year.

A stones throw away from Baker's Bridge west of Minot, the Bahm's are watching the Mouse River closely.

But this year they have a defense they didn't have in 2011: experience.

(Bob Bahm, West Minot Resident) "Our neighbor took readings twice a day during the flood (in 2011) and we took pictures and so we know at certain levels where we see water. From that stand point, we feel a little more confident. It's just again, if there's an ice jam, that's going to be the thing that we don't have control over."

As of Friday afternoon, 2300 cfs is flowing through the Mouse - which Bahm calls good news - especially since the water is being released before the Des Lacs River picks up speed.

But there-in lies the next question: can the releases be slowed when the Des Lacs River wakes from its winter slumber?

(Bob Bahm, West Minot Resident) "I think that's the biggest thing we're after: information early enough ahead. And that was the same thing two years ago. Just tell us what you're expecting, so we can make a decision."

This year, they've decided to wait --- and watch.

Near Baker's Bridge west of Minot, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

In 2011, the Bahm's began moving cattle in April when the Des Lacs River was putting pressure on one of the dams near Burlington.

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