It’s about waste getting into the river and people and belongings being swept by freezing floodwater.
Knowing the protest area as notorious for flooding during a North Dakota thaw, the governor has issued another emergency order.
“This is an unusual condition for America to have this kind of population without sewer and water and sanitation systems,” says Governor Doug Burgum Wednesday.
Call it a repeat evacuation order. Both the Standing Rock tribe and the state have issued similar orders before.
Burgum says the rapid melting of snow, combined with the low flood plain is creating a situation too dangerous for people to stay in. The health department saying the debris left at the camp will contaminate the water.
“Tents, any wood structures. Those are going to be a hazard and when the flood waters come in, they end up going downstream creating a physical hazard and also contamination hazard for the river,” says L. David Glatt, Environmental Health Section Chief of the North Dakota Department of Health.
They say waiting until next week to clean up tons of trash and for about hundred folks to safely evacuate is not an option.
“These kind of thaws there’s till a lot of ice on the river. As that begins to break up that can create a dam like effect to where water starts to back up behind it. And so in a relatively short period of time that area can be flooded within hours,” says Glatt.
Governor Burgum added people hearing should see the order as a concern for their own safety and a recommendation to salvage the things important to them.
“If you again care about the environment, then the remaining days that you’re here, help us initiate the clean up, particularly taking down anything that might be culturally sensitive,” says Gov. Burgum.
He says that if not, they could be risking donations, vehicles and the things they care about being inundated by rushing floodwaters and polluting the water.
Jeopardizing the very thing they’ve been fighting for.>>