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

River Update

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The level of the Mouse River is largely unchanged in North Dakota today - although there are some bright spots in this early flood fight.

Jim Olson reports on the latest in the 2013 flood watch.

15 miles west of Sherwood, where the river first crosses the international border, the Mouse has dropped about three feet in the past 36 hours thanks to the ice leaving the river channel.

Here's what it looked like at the Hanson ranch at that river gage when the water was near it's highest point.

Since then, it's dropped back into the river channel.

Downstream of Lake Darling, the Mouse continues to be at or near flood stage.

But with releases from Lake Darling scheduled to stay at the current 28-hundred CFS, the level is not predicted to have any significant rise downstream until Towner.

At Towner, it's predicted to go up sightly in the next several days, remaining in the moderate flood range.

Meanwhile, the wait for melting continues.

Here is the latest snowpack map, showing huge amounts of snow still waiting to melt in southern Saskatchewan, where the Souris River forms.

Water managers say there's more snow - and more water in that snow - this year than two years ago.

But they are professing confidence the dams that provide flood control are ready to hold back any major flood flows from the snowpack.

At yesterday's flood press conference, Minot officials said they had no indication from water managers that the city should expect any flows this year that would be in danger of going over the city's levees.

On the subject of levees in Minot, some people have expressed concerns that some spots along the levees are showing troubling erosion and wonder about their structural integrity.

The city's assistant public works director said the city and Corps of Engineers are aware of the issues.

(Jason Sorenson, Asst. Public Works Director) "After 2011 the Corps was out here and did a walk through with us and looked at all the erosion areas and determined the course of action for the fixes. The ones you see that have maybe sloughed away and haven't been repaired are ones they didn't deem as a critical repair. We're monitoring them, keeping an eye on them, just in case something happens."

Officials stress you should feel free to report any problems you see anywhere along the river as the spring runoff gets going.

Jim Olson, KX News.

Before the spring runoff can be set in motion, we'll need to melt the snow --- including the next storm on the way.

The entire state of North Dakota is under a winter storm warning as heavy snow is expected to develop across the state tonight through Sunday.

Tom Schrader has the latest from the KX Weather Center.

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