Waiting game: New forecasts on water releases expected todayFlood preparation continued to be a waiting game in Jamestown Tuesday with new forecasts from the Army Corps of Engineers for water levels on the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs not anticipated until Wednesday. John Bartel, corps field operations officer for the James River, made his report at the interagency meeting Tuesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
Flood preparation continued to be a waiting game in Jamestown Tuesday with new forecasts from the Army Corps of Engineers for water levels on the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs not anticipated until Wednesday. John Bartel, corps field operations officer for the James River, made his report at the interagency meeting Tuesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
“We’re guardedly optimistic we can make changes to the (dike) plans,” he said. “But it is all on the table right now. We can restart construction and continue as earlier planned, we can restart construction on down scaled dikes or we can stop construction.”
The new forecasts expected today will include a range of projected elevations for the Jamestown and Pipestem dams and projected releases from the two dams.
Bartel also cautioned one major rain or snow event could push the situation back to the original plans as well.
With no dike work to do, the members of the National Guard were relieved of duty.
“The Guard mission will be complete at 1800 hours,” Capt. Craig Hillig said Tuesday. “That means we’re done at 6 p.m. today.”
Hillig said the Guard soldiers could be back in 24 hours if needed.
City crews were continuing planning for dike placement although the process has slowed, according to Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer.
“There is not a whole lot new to report,” he said. “We’re also working on the sanitary sewer leak. Right now it’s not the best thing in the world but it’s not an imminent danger.”
Schwartzkopf reported at an interagency meeting last week that a leak had developed between the No. 1 lift station and the sewage treatment plant.
Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief, said about 10,000 sandbags had been filled during the first day of volunteer efforts. Volunteers filled sandbags at Jamestown High School and at Wilson Arena and inmates filled them at the James River Correctional Center.
“The turnout has been good,” he said. “The high school is doing a tremendous job. We are planning on filling sandbags again tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Wednesday will be the last day of sandbag filling at the Jamestown High School site although the equipment will be left in place, Reuther said. Work at the Wilson Arena site will also continue through today with a reassessment of further sandbag work to be made at the end of the day.
Volunteers can assist with sandbag filling from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kevin Arthaud said the inmates at the Correctional Center will continue filling sandbags with the materials already delivered and make a decision about continuing after further information.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com