High Water Descends on Mouse River - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

High Water Descends on Mouse River

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The rain that fell in the Antler - and even the Sherwood area - collects into the Deep River.

That's one of several streams that empty into the Mouse River in Bottineau County near the Canadian border, just south of where hundreds of Manitobans are being evacuated because of rising rivers.

As Jim Olson reports, the timing and location of the biggest rains have made for a very unusual situation at the border.

(Todd Grant, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) "I've been here 23 years and I've not seen this event."

Todd Grant of the Clark Salyer Refuge along the Mouse River is talking about what's happening where the river leaves North Dakota and enters Manitoba. The water is actually flowing backwards on the channel right now.

(Todd Grant, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) "This reach of the Souris River from Towner to Hartley, Manitoba is really flat. Water flows downhill based on slope and right now the elevation of the water downstream is overcoming the relatively minor slope in the river and water is flowing backwards."

In other words, there has been so much runoff into the river in Manitoba, that the water is backing up into North Dakota

(Todd Grant, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) "I think it's a fairly unique phenomenon."

(Jim Olson, KX News) "This may look like a beautiful river setting in North Dakota but this is the Deep River near Upham and just 24 hours ago it was running at about 100 CFS, just a trickle, now it's over 3,000 and it's all headed for the Mouse River towards Westhope."

When that water reaches the border, the level here will likely rise even more - and the flow will eventually resume its normal path from south to north into Manitoba. Grant says it shows the problems with water management in this stretch of the river through very flat land.

(Todd Grant, Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge) "It's only going to move through here so fast. No engineering by humans or ingenuity by humans is going to change that simple law of physics: you have to have enough slope to move water quickly through a system and this part of the Souris River does not have much slope."

Meanwhile, more water will be arriving at where the Mouse leaves North Dakota - from here - Lake Metigoshe. The level of the lake is up a foot or more in recent days - and that makes it spill over into Oak Creek - which is rushing through Bottineau and headed for the Mouse.

(Rick Hummel, Bottineau County Emergency Manager) "It's flowing freely. We just have to watch the lake level and see, so we can notify people downstream what's coming."

On Lake Metigoshe, the higher water is lapping at docks and threatening some shore. It has forced officials to order boaters to keep wakes to a minimum within 200 feet of shore.

(Duane Getzlaff, Oak Creek Water Board) "We're asking people to stay 200 feet from shore and hopefully they'll cooperate and use good common sense."

Meanwhile, everyone will be hoping that heavy rains stay away for a while - to allow all this water to get out of the area without causing more problems. Jim Olson, KX News.

The wake restriction on Lake Metigoshe will not cancel the water ski show put on by the Skinitiques on Thursday and Saturday.


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