Towner County scrambling to close washed out roadsOfficials in Towner County in the Devils Lake Basin and across north central North Dakota are scrambling Wednesday to close dozens of roads as flood waters quickly moved across the rural region.
By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
Officials in Towner County in the Devils Lake Basin across north central North Dakota are scrambling today to close dozens of roads as flood waters quickly moved across the rural region.
“I think we probably have in the neighborhood of 75 roads closed at this point,” said Larry Halverson, county highway superintendent and emergency manager. “It’s getting pretty tough to find your way around.”
Many of the roads have washed out. Nobody has been hurt, but there have been a few cases of people driving into water, he said. “They all got out,” he said.
Several rural families are stranded in their homes by washed out roads, but are prepared for it. “There aren’t any medical emergencies or anything that we know if," he said.
A portion of state Highway 66 was closed Tuesday and more sections were closed today by the flood waters that move in from the north in two major coulees.
Heavy, wet snow far above normal depths this winter ended up providing more flooding faster than expected, Halverson said. Even by Sunday, it didn’t appear there would be problems, but on Monday flood waters moved fast across the entire county, he said.
The north part of the county drains north into Canada and the remainder of the county drains toward Devils Lake.
“We are recommending people use extreme caution,” Halverson said of travelers. “And don’t be driving around sightseeing.”
He has not asked for outside help, such as the National Guard.
“I think the worst is over,” Halverson said late this afternoon. “We have so many roads closed, there are not many left to close.”