Lake Darling Dam Swamps Minot, ND

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FEMA is announcing “A mandatory evacuation  has been ordered for all residents in the original evacuation zones” for the City of Minot, ND. The Army Corp of Engineers has ordered the dam at Lake Darling to release 7,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water to prevent the topping of its release gates. The release of water is increasing every day (currently over 9,700 cfs). The consequences of this action will flood the town of Minot for an extended period of time. Efforts to raise the levees have been abandoned and the city is concentrating on adding sandbags to save essential buildings.

Heavy rains and flood control actions in Canada have contributed to what will be a historic flood at levels never previously recorded.

David DeGerolamo

Missouri River Basin Flooding Summary

Mandatory Flooding Evacuations – City of Minot, ND (Ward County)
Due to heavy rainfall  releases from Lake Darling (ND) need to be increased, which may result in severe flooding in the City of Minot  (Ward County) and rural areas.  Current  release levels at Lake Darling are at 9,000 cfs, and this will be increasing to  16,000 – 17,000 cfs on Wednesday, June 22.  The high flows in to the Mouse (Souris) River  in Minot can be expected to begin by Thursday, June 23.  The current reading of the Mouse (Souris)  River at 4:00 p.m. CDT on 20 June  was  1553.29 feet and the new projected crest, due to the higher releases, is  expected to reach 1,563.0 feet on June 26 or 27.  This crest will be higher than the 1969 flood  (1,555.4 feet) and 7-8 feet higher than the 1881 flood (1,558.0 feet).
A mandatory evacuation  has been ordered for all residents in the original evacuation zones.  All residents in the original evacuation zones  1-9, need to be out of their homes by 10:00 p.m. CDT on June 22, with the  possibility of additional areas being added to this evacuation order.  One shelter has opened at the Burlington  School.  The population of Ward County is  61,675 per 2010 census.  No Federal  requests have been received as a result of this situation at this time.

Minot Flooding Imminent

The City of Minot is preparing to become a partial lake. News of large releases from Lake Darling Dam and more water coming behind it from Canada made Minot leaders come to the realization that the Souris River will overtop their levees and there is nothing they could do about it.

The numbers were changing so fast Monday that the City was in the process of raising dikes to 12,000 cfs when they realized dikes couldn’t be raised in time. They went into a more defensive mode and now will be building secondary dikes to protect important City infrastructure like the water plant and schools.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for 10,000 residents in Minot and for anyone in Ward County who is near the river. Folks have to be out by Wednesday evening.

If you’re asking what caused this to change so quickly the answer is a massive rainfall in Canada. The Souris River Basin near the Rafferty Dam in Saskatchewan received four to seven inches in that area Sunday into Monday and 24,000 cfs is coming our way from Canada. There is not enough room in the Lake Darling Reservoir upstream from Minot to hold back that much water.

Officials here believe that we could hit this record breaking crest and stay there for two weeks. We’re expecting to hear some more bad news today because so much water is on the way.

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