The westbound lane of U.S. Highway 2 at the Souris River has been closed.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Capt. Gary Orluck, North Dakota Highway Patrol, explained that "we had to close it because of water over the roadway."
Orluck said he was "asking and pleading with the public" to reserve the Highway 83 Bypass for "very essential traffic." On Friday afternoon, a "tremendous traffic jam" stretching out four miles long filled the bypass, Orluck said. "We are having a tremendous amount of problems on the 83 Bypass." As for the east part of town, Orluck said that traffic on East Burdick Expressway should be "East Burdick traffic only."
Eloise Ogden/MDN • Traffic was extremely heavy on the U.S. 83 Bypass on the west side of Minot Friday morning and throughout the day. This photo shows the lineup of traffic which extended for nearly two miles. Work on the bridge over the Souris River at the south end of the bypass was slowing down the south lane traffic. North traffic was able to proceed somewhat faster. Throughout the day the traffic remained heavy and required lengthy waits.
"There is a possibility, if you live in that area, go up County Road 12A (or 55th Street) and go north to Minot Milling," he added.
Despite the road closures, headaches and other trauma associated with the flooding, Minot citizens were bathed in a small ray of hope Friday: the expected cfs was a foot shorter than a Thursday estimate.
Sherwood crested Thursday evening at 29,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per second, mayor Curt Zimbelman explained. At 9:30 a.m. Friday, it was at 29,700 cfs. Friday morning, Zimbelman said that the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service informed him that the flows coming from Lake Darling would be 28,000 cfs. They were going to hold them at 24,000 cfs, instead of the 26,000 cfs they had planned on releasing. Starting this evening, and lasting the next three to four days, the Broadway Bridge would be at a stage of 1,563 to 1,564 feet.
"That's one foot lower than estimated (Thursday)," Zimbelman said.
Weather patterns will continue to be monitored. "Our greatest concern is a thunderstorm over the Des Lacs Basin," Zimbelman said.
In regards to the progress of the construction of the secondary dike near Third Street Northeast, Lt. Col. Kendall Bergmann of the Corps of Engineers explained that it is "almost 80 to 90 percent complete."
"We're focusing on the east side of the levee," Bergmann said. "We're continuing to raise that up. We should be, as an estimate, be through before the crest."
Zimbelman noted that the fact the water is one foot lower than the Thursday estimate "helps a lot on a temporary dike."
Downriver, dikes in Sawyer are "98 percent complete," and 40 percent in Velva.