Minot city officials announced Tuesday that they expect the Souris River to crest in the coming days at a level of 1,563 feet above sea level at the Broadway Bridge, which would be the highest level ever recorded for the river in Minot's history.
"It's pretty ugly. We expect dikes to be overtopped, the river channel dikes, pretty much by 7 a.m. Thursday," said Alan Schlag, National Weather Service hydrologist in Bismarck.
Evacuations were moved up several hours, with Minot residents living in the city's nine evacuation zones given until 6 p.m. Wednesday to leave their homes and businesses. Residents in Burlington's evacuation zones have until noon Wednesday to leave.
The sheer numbers in the ongoing flood fight are staggering: Saskatchewan reservoirs releasing water at a rate of 28,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday morning. Lake Darling to release 15,000 cfs by Thursday morning, with an expected high release rate of 20,000 cfs later in the week.
Work on secondary dikes around the city continued late Tuesday night, and crews were expected to work around the clock.
Regardless of the flood, the 2011 North Dakota State Fair will go on, according to fair manager Renae Korslien, who discussed the situation early Tuesday.
Keller Paving has been diking around the State Fair Center and grandstand. Korslien said engineers have differed on the height needed, but the top estimate is 11 feet so that is the level that the fair is building the dikes.
- Flood Hotline for Minot and Ward County (8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.): 858-9366.
- Minot Air Force Base Emergency Family Assistance Center (emergency shelter, information, referral & support, donations): 723-4500.
- Pet shelter at North Central Research Extension Center, one mile south of Minot at 5400 Highway 83 S. Service provided by the Souris Valley Animal Shelter (shelter at extension center open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, thereafter 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.). People do not need to call ahead to drop off pets at the extension center. However, for specific questions call 720-7203 or 240-8794.
- Pet boarding at Sterling Kennels, Minot. Call ahead at 852-6379.
- Mid-Dakota Chapter of American Red Cross in Minot: 852-2828.
- FEMA: 1-877-212-0316 (People should call immediately when they have any damages.)
- City of Minot website: (www.minotnd.org).
- Ward County website: (www.co.ward.nd.us).
MSU REMAINS OPEN
Minot State University remained open on Tuesday. Classes and CONNECT sessions are planned to continue for the present time.
Employees who need to evacuate should take the time to do so and coordinate with their supervisor. More plans will be made based on flood updates, according to an MSU press release.
EMERGENCY SHELTER OPEN FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AT MINOT AFB
The Emergency Family Assistance Center has been opened at Minot Air Force Base for Department of Defense members and their families, said Col. James Dawkins, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing and installation commander.
The center's reception area is in the Airman and Family Readiness Center which is Building 291/22 Peacekeeper Drive. The center will maintain 24-hour operations.
Members and families affected by the current flood events can report to the Emergency Family Assistance Center for emergency shelter, information, referral and support or call 723-4500 for flood-related assistance. Department of Defense members and their families are encouraged to use the onbase facility to allow downtown agencies to assist other Minot community members.
The Emergency Family Assistance Center will also be drop-off point for donations and volunteer information and support.
Volunteers are needed to assist the center with reception, donation collections and information/referral and support for the current flood events. Volunteer hours are flexible and volunteers will be needed around-the-clock for the 24-hour operations. Interested individuals can report to the center or call 723-4500 for more information. Those interested in volunteering at the center must have base access.
MINOT AIRPORT REMAINS OPEN
The Minot International Airport will stay fully operational during the flood, said Andy Solsvig, airport director.
As long as main throughways are open for access/egress through Minot, people will be able to reach the airport terminal.
Passengers are asked the following:
Plan ahead and arrive early.
Be patient, flights could be delayed due to staff shortages.
Be prepared for traffic and congestion on roads and possibly the terminal, allow ample time to get to/from the terminal building.
Passengers should check airline websites for status updates on their flights:
Check road conditions on major highways or throughways.
PARKING LOT OPEN FOR CAMPER PARKING
-The Duane Carlson Football Stadium parking lot west of Jim Hill Middle School was opened for camper parking today at noon. No services will be available and no access to the building will be allowed. This location will only be for camper and family vehicle parking.
-The shelter at Burlington Elementary School will be opening and camper parking is also available there. Access to shower facilities is available in the shelter. RV dumps are available at Corner Express Cenex near WalMart, Southeast Cenex near Kmart and North Central Service Heating and Sheet Metal.
NODAK RACES CANCELED UNTIL AT LEAST STATE FAIR
Nodak Race Club Vice President Lindsey Lawson said racing at Nodak Speedway will likely be put off until at least the time of the North Dakota State Fair after officials decided to use parts of the race track as a dike around the new grandstand.
Lawson didn't rule out the entire season being canceled.
"We certainy understand that this is the best for everybody," Lawson said.
For more on this story, see Wednesday's edition of the Minot Daily News.
TOPS IN BLUE SHOW POSTPONED
The Tops In Blue performance scheduled for next week in the Minot Municipal Auditorium has been postponed.
Minot Air Force Base officials said Tops In Blue officials will make every attempt to reschedule the performance at a later date.
AMTRAK SUSPENDS SERVICE
Amtrak's "Empire Builder" service is temporarily being suspended between St. Paul, Minn., and Havre, Mont., with no alternate transportation available between those points until further notice, Amtrak officials said.
The disruption of service will affect Minot and other Amtrak stops in North Dakota.
The temporary suspension of service was effective in both directions with the originations of the "Empire Builder" trains Tuesday.
The temporary suspension is being done because of the closure of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. tracks in and around Minot due to what is predicted to be the worst flooding in more than 120 years. Amtrak uses the BNSF tracks.
For passengers traveling from Seattle and Portland, a combination of trains and chartered motor coaches will provide service to Spokane, Wash., with the "Empire Builder" trains continuing east into Idaho and serving all Montana stops for Glacier National Park (including Whitefish, East and West Glacier and Essex), continuing east to terminate at Havre each afternoon. The trains will originate there to operate back west to Seattle/Portland.
For those passengers traveling west from Chicago, the "Empire Builder" trains will serve all their Wisconsin stops (including Wisconsin Dells), continuing west to terminate at St. Paul each evening. Each morning, the trains will originate there to operate back east to Chicago.
For more information passengers should call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.
POSTOPONED OR CANCELED EVENTS
Michael and Penny Perdue Anniversary
The 25th wedding anniversary for Michael and Penny Perdue of Minot has been postponed until a future date because of flooding concerts. The celebration was to include a renewal of vows, reception and dance Friday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Upper Atrium of the All Seasons Arena at the State Fairgrounds in Minot.
Dakota Territory Air Museum Summer Show
The Dakota Territory Air Museum of Minot's Annual Summer Show of Military Vehicles and Historic Aircraft, planned for Saturay at the museum, has been canceled because of flooding concerns in the Minot area.
Lester Johnson Birthday Party
The open house to celebrate the 90th birthday of Lester Johnson of Minot has been canceled until further notice because of flooding concerns. The open house was planned Sunday, June 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. in St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Minot.
Thomas-Fournier Wedding location moved
Stefani Fournier and Wesley Thomas III announce their forthcoming marriage. Their parents are Steve and Darlene Fournier, Minot, and Bonnie and Wesley Thomas Jr., Minot.
The wedding will be Saturday, June 25, at 5 p.m. in the Grand International Inn in Minot. The wedding was originally planned for Augustana Lutheran Church in Minot but has been moved because of flooding concerns.
No invitations are required for the ceremony or for the reception at 6 p.m. and dance to follow, both in the Grand International Inn in Minot.
Scandinavian Heritage Park activities
The annual Midsummer Night Festival, originally set for Friday, June 24, at 5 p.m., in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, has been canceled until further notice because of flooding concerns in the area. A decision about whether to reschedule will be made later.
The Sack Lunch in the Park program, planned for Wednesdays at noon in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, are canceled until further notice.
The knitting demonstrations on Thursdays by the Knit Owls, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, have been canceled until further notice.
Elmer Jesme meeting
The Elmer Jesme Conference of Counties meeting, originally set for Monday, June 27, at Lake Metigoshe near Bottineau, has been canceled because of flooding concerns. Call the Souris Basin Planning Council at 839-6641 for more information.
Minot Public Library
The Minot Public Library closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and will remain closed until further notice. All youth and teen activities are canceled until the library re-opens.
The Corps of Engineers is diking in all infrastructure which includes the library, Jerry Kaup, library director, said. "As a precaution, we will be moving almost everything from the lower level and the first floor to the second floor and the west mezzanine as a fall back if the dike should fail," Kaup said.