Rain Causes Problems - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rain Causes Problems

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And naturally, the rainy weekend is leading to the highest water releases of the year from Lake Darling into the Mouse River.

Frank Durbian of the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge says releases from Lake Darling Dam have been increased to one thousand cubic feet per second.

And those flows are tentatively scheduled to increase 500 CFS each day through Wednesday.

That means by Wednesday at this time, the dam is likely to be allowing 25-hundred CFS through its gates.

That's about one-thousand CFS higher than at any time in 2014.

Jim Olson reports on the impacts of several inches of rain.

The heavy rains - hitting seven inches in the Tolley area west of Mohall - have pushed water levels higher along the Mouse River - including here at Lake Darling.

The level of the lake is up well over one foot since Friday, although it's still three feet under its capacity. The rise has prompted an increase in releases from the Lake Darling Dam - meaning you'll probably notice the rise in the Mouse River in places like the Boy Scout Bridge west of Minot and all along the river channel over the next few days. But how about areas farther north? The gage on the Mouse River west of Sherwood, where the river enters the US from Canada, showed a 6 foot jump in 24 hours as rainfall ran off into the river. And it appears nearly all of the increase was from local runoff since the output of the dams in Canada has not yet been increased.

I say not yet because of this map - an estimate of the rainfall from Saturday morning through Sunday morning - notice the deep red colors in southern Saskatchewan showing 6 inches of rain or more. If that water hits Alameda and Rafferty Reservoirs, it's likely the dams will be opened up to move that water downstream. But the location of the rain is very close to the border where water travels west into Rafferty and Alameda, or east into the river after it has exited North Dakota in Manitoba on its way to Hudson Bay. As of Sunday mid-day, the Canadian government is reporting the level of both reservoirs is right where it's supposed to be at this time of year - with several feet of sstoragespace available. That's a far cry from three years ago when a major rain event in southern Saskatchewan piled water on top of already-full reservoirs and forced dam gates to be flung open, precipitating the worst flooding on record along the Mouse River in North Dakota.

Again, the situation this year is much different - with lots of storage space available at Rafferty and Alameda to deal with the deluge, and the possibility the the majority of the rain will enter the river system downstream of North Dakota. Still, water managers will no doubt be looking closely at what's happening over the next few days.

As for farm fields - many were flooded for a time Saturday evening and some still had water standing in them today. It remains to be seen how it will impact the crops that have begun growing in those fields. Jim Olson, KX News.

Again, the current output at Lake Darling Dam is one thousand cubic feet per second, with plans to increase that by 500 CFS each day through Wednesday.

Frank Durbian says Canadian water managers have no plans to increase flows from their dams until at least Wednesday.

 

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