UPDATE: Flood attention turns north as Red River crests in FargoUPDATED 12:45 P.M.
Floodwaters near two small towns "under siege" north of Fargo are starting to recede, but more than 60 miles of roads remain closed and emergency crews are prepared to respond to calls for evacuations, officials said today.
By: Associated Press,
FARGO — Floodwaters near two small towns "under siege" north of Fargo are starting to recede, but more than 60 miles of roads remain closed and emergency crews are prepared to respond to calls for evacuations, officials said today.
The north-flowing Red River crested in Fargo over the weekend at 38.75 feet, the fourth-highest flood on record. Fargo officials said the levees were holding in the city and offered to help with unprecedented flooding in Cass County directly north of Fargo. The largely rural territory is dotted with small towns, many with just a few hundred residents.
"The area from Harwood to Argusville is under siege, more than it probably has been in history," North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said today.
Air boats were on standby today, but no evacuations were reported. Authorities said there were two separate rescue operations Sunday near Argusville. Five people and a dog were rescued from one residence, and the second rescue was of a man who became stuck in his tractor when a flooded road gave out beneath him.
Authorities moved airboats into place for a possible rescue near Grandin, but that was called off when they found out the family just wanted some items moved from the basement to the main floor. Firefighters helped the family move a freezer.
Cass County engineer Keith Berndt said water was "dropping a bit" in Argusville and nearby Harwood, but warned that flood levels will remain high for a long time. He said water from the Maple and Sheyenne Rivers has yet to reach eastern North Dakota.
Authorities urged residents who are stranded by floodwaters to plan ahead if they need medical supplies or other help.
"Please keep in mind it will take people a while to get to you," Cass County Commissioner Darrell Vanyo said. "One of the rescues we had was 5 miles one way with an airboat."
Road closures were making life difficult for county residents, including commuters who normally use Interstate 29 into Fargo. More than 30 miles of the interstate remained shut down from north of Fargo to Hillsboro.
Kevin Gorder, spokesman for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, said roads that have never flooded before have gone under water.
"We've got a crazy situation in rural Cass County," Dalrymple said. "There are a lot of problems with accessibility."