VIDEOS: Raw power of floodwater Wednesday at Maple River dam spillwayDams can do much to help provide flood protection, but they offer an impressive sight when their design accommodates floodwater that can no longer be held back. Open the article link, then look down the page for videos.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Dams can do much to help provide flood protection, but they offer an impressive sight when their design accommodates floodwater that can no longer be held back.
The earthen pass-through dam known as the Maple River Dam demonstrates what happens -- captured on video Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey -- during peak times of flooding.
The video was posted to YouTube on Friday.
Located in southwest Cass County, near Sheldon, N.D., the Maple River Dam allows limited amounts of water to flow through.
"During high streamflow conditions, water is stored (accumulates) in the reservoir," according to a USGS description with the video. "If the water rises high enough, it goes over a spillway."
USGS says the video was recorded at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, when the stream flow above the dam -- also known as inflow - measured at about 5,120 cubic feet per second.
That's about 38,300 gallons a second - or nearly 2.9 million gallons a minute.
And it shows.
Look below to see the videos:
One reason for taking the video? It's a safe way to share the sight with the public. "The public should not approach the dam," the USGS warns in its description.
More about the dam from the USGS description:
"The Maple River Dam ...and is owned and operated by the Cass County Joint Water Resource District. Construction was completed in 2006 to reduce the magnitude and duration of future flooding along the Maple, Sheyenne, Rush and Red Rivers in eastern North Dakota.
"The dam provides flood protection for downstream areas by temporarily impounding up to 60,000 acre-feet of water and reducing peak river stages along the Maple River, Sheyenne River, Rush River, and Red River in Cass County. Water runs over the concrete spillway at a stage of 48 feet or an elevation of approximately 1,048 feet."