Grafton braces for more water: Record flood level expected by morning
GRAFTON, N.D. -- Brent Nelson, emergency manager for Walsh County, said crews continued to monitor the rising Park River, which was at 13.42 feet in the city early Wednesday, approached 16 feet by late afternoon and was projected to rise to near ...
GRAFTON, N.D. -- Brent Nelson, emergency manager for Walsh County, said crews continued to monitor the rising Park River, which was at 13.42 feet in the city early Wednesday, approached 16 feet by late afternoon and was projected to rise to near its record level late Wednesday or early Thursday.
But by Wednesday evening, the crest forecast was lowered to 16.4 from 16.5, Nelson said. The rate of the river's rise had also slowed from earlier in the day.
"Duration is the concern now," Nelson said. "The longer the pressure on the dike stays high, the more concerned we get."
The river was at 16.05 feet at 6:44 p.m. Wednesday.
The record of 16.52 feet has stood since 1950. The river crested at 16.1 feet in the initial spring flood less than a month ago.
Nelson said temporary dikes built to contain that April crest stand at 17 to 18 feet, and crews placed sandbags on those levees Tuesday night to provide a little more freeboard.
Crews spent Wednesday filling additional sandbags at the city maintenance building to have an emergency reserve on hand.
Volunteers were out walking the dikes late Wednesday, watching for potential trouble spots.
Buses sent by the state Health Department to help move evacuees from a nursing home in Cavalier, N.D., earlier in the week were then sent to Grafton, "and they're standing by in case we have some issues," Nelson said.
"Everybody's kind of tired of water," he said, and Thursday's projected crest has people concerned.
"But we're prepared for it," he said. "In the city, most of the people are optimistic. And the sunshine Thursday is helping everybody's mood.
"But outside Grafton, in the country, people are fighting their own battles, trying to protect their farms."