North Dakota emergency workers are racing against time to build an unprecedentedly high flood levee before the Souris River crests and submerges Minot, the fourth largest city in the state, under water.
The U-shaped river that curves from Canada to North Dakota is predicted to rise between 1,562 and 1,563 feet by Sunday, smashing the 130-year-old record of 1,558 feet. The Souris River is expected to crest on Monday, several days earlier than previously thought. City officials hope workers can build the levee fast enough to save the important north-south thoroughfare, which weaves through the center of the city, from impending floodwaters.
“There is a tremendous surge on the way,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple, according to The Minot Daily News. “There’s no question about that. We also know it is moving into North Dakota sooner than expected.”
Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman said Thursday that Lake Darling is being overflowed with water at a quicker and greater volume than previously expected, according to CNN.
Water already topped levees and dikes around Minot by Wednesday afternoon.
About 11,000 residents, or a third of Minot’s population, were ordered to evacuate. It appears residents are taking the evacuation order seriously, with various media outlets reporting that the streets are empty
The impending flood in Minot is due to weeks of heavy rain that has swelled the Canadian reservoirs in the Souris River basin, forcing dangerous water releases to the Souris River. The basin has received about 200 percent more rain water than normal in the last two months.