Mayor on Flood Potential - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Mayor on Flood Potential

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The time to lower reservoirs on the Souris-Mouse River system is coming to an end.

Forecasts call for a late arrival of spring very soon.

That means melting...and watching to see how the system handles record snowpack in Canada.

Perry Olson talked with Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman today about the flood outlook.

In late March, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman had this to say about the prospects of flooding in the region...

(Curt Zimbelman - Mayor of Minot) "We are nervous..."

A few weeks of sub-freezing temps though has changed that some...

(Curt Zimbelman - Mayor of Minot) "Oh I feel much better knowing the amount of room that we have in there but I still know that the amount of snowpack up in Canada...and that hasn't moved yet...I mean ours has hardly moved."

With that in mind, the mayor and city officials pushed for as much space as possible in reservoirs...including Lake Darling. That proved to be a bit of a battle...the city concerned about flood protection, and the Game and Fish worried about ramifications of drawdowns...like harm to wildlife..something that can sometimes be frustrating for the Mayor...

(Curt Zimbelman - Mayor of Minot) "I would much rather be dealing with Fish and Wildlife that is up at the reservoir rather than with Fish and Wildlife...the big Denver region or wherever they come out of. I think sometimes they are less apt to understand what goes on here during high water."

But a drawdown was won...and by early next week now the level of the lake should be an extra foot lower...that means more space to handle the melt. It's something new...different than 2011...and Zimbelman likes that and feels testing the limits on the dry side is something that should be pursued...

(Curt Zimbelman - Mayor of Minot) "I realize that we still have the treaty and the agreements but common sense would tell us here is an opportunity. Let's see if we can draw down this reservoir down two or more feet and lets see what happens!"

He's solidly in that camp...hoping as the spring melt kicks into gear, others agree with him on. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.

The level of Lake Darling was to be at 1592 by the end of this week...but officials with the Corps of Engineers say they still aren't there and won't be until about Tuesday.

By the way, the full level of Darling is 1601.

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