More Minot evacuees return home
By: By Tu-Uyen Tran , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Minot authorities are allowing more evacuees to return to their homes today as the flooded Souris River continues to recede.
So far, evacuees have returned to more than 140 homes out of 4,000 affected by flooding, according to Dean Lenertz, a spokesman for the city.
He said he didn’t know how many homes are in the newly opened area, which is a mile-long strip in the northeast quadrant of the city.
Anticipating that evacuees will be cleaning out soggy homes, the city and the local health department has been giving out helpful tips, such as dealing with backed up sewers and where to put garbage.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Souris River was at 1,557.5 feet above sea level at the Broadway bridge gauge. It’s been dropping about a half a foot a day the past two days, but the National Weather Service expects that to increase to about two feet a day for two days, starting Tuesday afternoon.
Friday, the city allowed the return of the first evacuees in the northwest area of the evacuation zone if there were no river water on their lawn, a number that continues to grow as the water level drops, Lenertz said.
Saturday, it allowed the return of a smaller number of evacuees in the northeast area.
Large swaths of the evacuation zone remain off limits, including an otherwise dry area between the Broadway and Third Street bridges. Flood fighters erected high levees there to protect the approaches to the bridges, but the area was evacuated anyway to make it easier to reinforce the levees, which are continually eroded by fast-flowing flood waters.
Residents of the area won’t be allowed in until the river reaches 1,555 feet, when the river is no longer considered to be at major flood stage. The National Weather Service expects that to happen Thursday afternoon.
Tu-Uyen Tran is a reporter at the Grand Forks Herald,
which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.