Recovering From High Water - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Recovering From High Water

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The Mouse River may have stayed in its banks in major population centers this year.

But it's been flooding rural areas - especially in the Towner area - for months.

River flows are being cut back now - but it's going to take quite a while to get back to normal.

One place hit hard by the flooding is the Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge near Upham.

Jim Olson takes us there to see how the refuge has fared in this high water year.

Frank Durbian of Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge has been taking a lot of back roads this year. Because the normal refuge access roads have disappeared.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

A challenge to get to the dams, dikes, and levees that are normally used to manage the Mouse River that is the heart of the refuge. The access problems limit workers and the public alike.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

On this day, Durbian is taking us to areas that have been underwater until the last week or two - when flows from Lake Darling Dam upstream were cut back. The drive scares up lots of waterfowl. And ends at a place that's normally busy with fishermen

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

- dam number one.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

It's just one example of how the high river level has shut off access to this wildlife haven. As for the birds and other critters and habitat of the refuge? Durbian says they'll be just fine.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

His biggest concern is getting things back in shape so that you can visit again.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

He hopes to have the repairs made by September, so you can check out the refuge when the southward migration begins.

(Frank Durbian, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) ""

At Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, Jim Olson, KX News.

Durbian says he's confident the refuge will be able to host school children from the area this fall for the duck banding projects they hold each year.

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