Yellowstone River overflowing in McKenzie County, closing some roads

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A rapid spring melt and ice jams is causing water trouble for folks all over North Dakota.

That includes residents in McKenzie County where the Yellowstone River is flowing out of its banks in some places.

Around 5 pm Sunday night, the McKenzie County Emergency Manager notified people that highway 200 was closed between Cartwright, ND and Fairview, Montana.

Roughly a 5-mile stretch.

There are also several miles of country roads North and South of Highway 200 that are flooded.

The cause of the flooding is from spring melt and ice jams along the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers.

We actually have 7 to 10 miles of ice jams, said Karolin Jappe, the McKenzie County Emergency Manager.

Jappe said more than 30 families have been evacuated from their homes, and another seven are being watched carefully, in case they have to make a run for it.

The emergency manager said none of the families in the Fairview area that have been evacuated from their homes are displaced that she knows of, and they have been able to find shelter with family.

For many people in Fairview they’ve never seen it like this.

I was born and raised here, and I have never seen water in places like this, said Fairview mayor Brian Bieber. A lot of the older people have never seen water like this.

Some areas in the Fairview area that KX News visited had flooding that was six to seven feet deep, and the owners were rushing to get their belongings out of it.

Fairview resident Jarrod Finsaas, whose house is flooded, said he doesn’t know if his house a complete loss at this point.

We will see as soon as I can get to it.

Jappe said people in need of assistance can go to the community center in Cartwright and the fire hall in Fairview.

The local communities are also showing their support for the flood victims with water and food.

Distribution Now delivered 16 cases of Gatorade and 96 cases of water to the Fairview Fire Hall on Monday afternoon.

However, for many people, the question is, when will it end?

We would like to see the river moving again, said Harold Schlothauer, a resident of Fairview and a flood victim. It is still troubling because it is still rising a bit.

Jappe said they are continuing to monitor the area and Highway 200 is still closed.

People coming from Watford can use 68 West as a detour and people coming from Williston can use 58 South.

Along with the McKenzie County emergency manager, flood victims have been assisted by the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office, Williams County emergency manager,the County of Richland, the City of Fairview, and Red Cross.

The list goes beyond that for all the people offering assistance and support to flood victims.

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