Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



CUT OFF AGAIN: Neighborhoods southeast of Grand Forks ready commutes by boat

It's getting to be that time of year when residents in the Shady Ridge and East Lake Drive areas southeast of Grand Forks take out their boats for the daily commute.

Burke Addition

It's getting to be that time of year when residents in the Shady Ridge and East Lake Drive areas southeast of Grand Forks take out their boats for the daily commute.

It's also the time of year their fire protection mostly gets cut off.

Jim Campbell, county emergency manager, said Friday that all three roads allowing access across a coulee to the 45 homes there will soon be flooded.

The northern portion of Shady Ridge Court is already under water and the southern portion was expected to go under late Friday or early Saturday, according to Campbell. Sixty-second Avenue South, another access road farther south connecting to East Lake Drive, was also supposed to go under Friday.

Law enforcement


Sheriff Bob Rost said he's stationing an SUV filled with fire extinguishers and emergency medical equipment on the other side. Deputies will use it to conduct patrols when they're over there, he said.

This will be the first year the sheriff's office is doing this. Rost said he's also stationing a boat to get those deputies over the flooded coulee. Residents all have their own boats to get across, he said, leaving their cars parked on the other side of the coulee.

"They have to go with a boat and a rope and a brick to get started in the morning," said East Lake Estates resident Kevin Pierce. "They come home at night they have to fight the elements there.

"The ones who choose not to live there, they stay with friends, spend a couple thousand dollars to rent a place to stay and eat out. It's a big economic hit for everyone who lives out there."

Fire protection

Firefighters won't have as easy a time getting service to Shady Ridge and East Lake. Those areas are under the protection of Thompson (N.D.) Fire District and it can't spare any fire trucks to be stationed there, which has been the case in previous flood seasons.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Thompson Fire Chief Gary Adams. "We got a few houses there and we've got to protect the whole district." There are two pumpers and two tanker trucks in the district's inventory, he said.

Joe Simon, the district administrative officer, said he's been working to borrow trucks, but hasn't had any luck. There are some smaller pumps that firefighters can carry over by boat, he said, but they need to be close to water. Some homes, he said, would require hundreds of feet of hoses to reach a water source like the coulee.


It's possible to bring fire trucks in on semi-trailer flatbeds because they ride high over the water, he said, but they can ford only about four feet. The last access road will be under water at a river level of 42 feet, and the flatbeds can get in at 46 feet, but the crest is expected to exceed 50 feet, he said.

"It's a complicated situation," he said. "We don't have a real good answer."

Herald staff writer Lisa Gulya contributed to this report. Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

What To Read Next
Get Local