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Jamestown dike system to be done by Saturday night

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Construction on a scaled-back dike system for Jamestown should be complete by this evening, said John Bartel, field officer for the James River basin for the Army Corps of Engineers. He made the announcement as part of a briefi...

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Construction on a scaled-back dike system for Jamestown should be complete by this evening, said John Bartel, field officer for the James River basin for the Army Corps of Engineers. He made the announcement as part of a briefing at an interagency meeting Friday at the Law Enforcement Center.

"Limited clay dikes," he said. "What was originally planned for clay dikes are now HESCOs, and what was originally planned for HESCOs is now sandbags."

The change came about when the corps lowered estimated releases from the Jamestown and Pipestem dams from 3,200 cubic feet per second to a maximum of 1,800 cfs Thursday.

The corps had let contracts March 18 and 19 for the construction of dikes to protect the city at releases of 3,200 cfs. The corps suspended construction on those dikes Monday. The contractors began work on the reduced dikes Thursday.

The city of Jamestown is also planning some additional dike work.

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"We're starting to ramp up the city measures to protect some homes along the Pipestem," said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. "We'll use big bags that are similar to the 1-ton sandbags used last year and dropped from the Blackhawk."

The big bags are a new tool in flood fighting that flex over uneven ground better than the HESCO barriers. Schwartzkopf said they will be placed by contractors in the area of 17th Avenue Southwest along Pipestem Creek.

Schwartzkopf said sewage use in Jamestown has remained steady at about 2 million gallons per day passing through the main lift station. He also said a contractor would be on site Monday to construct an above ground line from the recently reported break in the sewer main between the No. 1 lift station and wastewater treatment plant.

"We'll have the capability to pump from the leak site to the lagoon," he said. "If there is a catastrophic break, we will have that capacity."

The leak in the line is on city owned property between the garbage bailer and the waste water treatment plant. The above ground emergency line will be about 3,200 feet long and made up of 18-inch pipe.

Volunteer sandbag filling operations in Jamestown were suspended Thursday with about 23,000 sandbags filled. Inmates at the James River Correctional Center will continue filling sandbags until a reserve of about 30,000 bags has been reached.

"There are two or three cabins on the east side of the Jamestown Reservoir with potential flooding at the levels they are forecasting," said Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief and sandbag coordinator. "Sandbags have been taken to those sites."

Schwartzkopf said other sandbags may be used in conjunction with the big bags along the Pipestem Creek.

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The sandbag filling stations at Wilson Arena and the Jamestown High School will remain for the time being.

"We have to keep in mind that we are just one good rainstorm to the north of us from being back at the 3,200 cfs release plan," said Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.

The Jamestown (N.D.) Sun and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

Related Topics: 2010 FLOODSJAMESTOWN
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