The Souris (Mouse) river will be cresting at a higher level than previously reported: 1566 feet which is 8 feet higher than the previous record. This is the result of the decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to release more water from Lake Darling. The previous record was the release of 5,000 cubic feet of water per second. The COE is now releasing 22,000 cubic feet per second and is expected to increase this to 28,000 tomorrow evening. Once the battle of the levees was lost, the COE literally opened the floodgates in an effort to save the dam.
Is there a villain in this catastrophe? Did the COE act too slowly or did Canada not give them advance knowledge of their actions concerning releases from their dams? Time will tell but we give our prayers and physical support to the people of Minot whose homes will be flooded for at least the next two weeks.
Note: the original picture from the Washington Post for Minot, ND was removed since the house was in Bismarck, not Minot.
Flood waters from North Dakota’s Souris River are pouring over the levees protecting Minot, North Dakota today, and flood heights are expected to rise to the highest levels in recorded history tonight. The Lake Darling flood control reservoir located about 15 miles upstream from Minot is full to overflowing, and record releases of water are occurring to prevent the lake’s dam from over-topping. By this weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers will open the dam’s flood gates to a maximum flow rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second, which is roughly double the flow rate that the levees in Minot can handle. Water began flowing over the levees yesterday, forcing the mandatory evacuation of 12,000 residents. By Sunday, water levels on the Souris River are expected to peak at four feet above the previous all-time flood height, set in 1881. Torrential rainfall in Canada on Sunday and Monday, combined with very heavy rainfall and snow melt over North Dakota over the past month, are responsible for the record flood. The Souris River Basin near the Rafferty Dam in Saskatchewan received four to seven inches of rain Sunday into Monday. Flood heights along the Souris River near the Canadian border upstream from Minot are already two feet above the previous all-time highest mark, and that pulse of water is now arriving in Minot. The unprecedented flood is expected to keep much of Minot underwater for at least two weeks. Fortunately, no new heavy rains are expected over the next five days, though up to 1/2″ of rain could fall over portions of the Souris River watershed.