Sunday Morning Flood Problems - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Sunday Morning Flood Problems

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The worst flooding of 2013 hit overnight and continued today in north-central North Dakota.

It's not rivers spilling over their banks, but snow banks turning to rushing water, draining off hills across the region, causing the problems.

The levels of creeks and coulees rose quickly overnight, closing roads and highways and giving many property owners headaches.

Jim Olson reports on what happened overnight and early this Sunday.

(Terry Quinlen, Ward County Highway Department) "19 and a half hours of chasing water..."

Terry Quinlen works for the Ward County Highway Department - and he spent hours erecting and removing these signs as water problems developed and then eased through the northwest and central portions of the county.

(Terry Quinlen, Ward County Highway Department) "We've got some closed roads south of Sawyer - we have two roads there where the roads are washed out. Most of it is overland flooding like you see here where you have to close the roads for a while and then the water goes down and you open them back up again."

The problems started developing late Saturday and multiplied overnight into Sunday. And the high water is not all related to rivers. It's also in the normally tiny streams and coulees that are ushering to lower ground the water that's left behind from the melting of a heavy snow pack. Here on County Road 14 west of the YMCA, the hills and fields of a large area southwest of Minot drain right through here. After rushing over and under the road, the water heads for the Green Acres subdivision where it threatens basements as it heads for a trip under Dakota Square. Problem is the culverts couldn't handle the flow - and the water inundated 16th Street - trapping one car in the process.

(Kerry Green, Olson's Towing) "I'm going to go out and see if I can get it in neutral and then find someplace to hook some chains and drag it out of there."

Early Sunday morning, Kerry Green of Olson's Towing was carrying out a plan to wade into the hip-deep water, hook up a chain to the car's frame, and slowly tug the waterlogged Acura out of the pond and onto dry land.

Meanwhile, the morning brought a continued rise of the Des Lacs River - a river that starts here at the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge near Kenmare. This is what it looked like Sunday morning - a far cry from the scene we saw one week ago when the stream was still a block of ice. But the ice is gone and the hills are dumping their water into the stream that rushes through Carpio and here at Foxholm where the river banks still had a few feet of space Sunday morning. Meanwhile, water continues to feed into the Des Lacs as it heads for Burlington. And the first place it hits is the Projects Area - west of Burlington. This bridge was washed out by high water two years ago - but as of Sunday morning was standing up to the onslaught. Other parts of the Projects were also just barely above water as residents hoped that the dramatic rise of the river would end quickly. And in the town of Burlington, the Des Lacs was behaving - staying well within the levee system as of now. Sunday morning ended with streams and rivers still on the rise, and local residents howling their breaths in hopes the water would recede quickly after a very fast rise. Jim Olson, KX News.

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