Minot ND to see record flood
Spring flooding is not all that unusual in North Dakota. The city of Minot, North Dakota, sits on the Souris River, and experienced an unusually high flood even earlier this spring. Heavy rainfall and melting snowpack brought the river to levels that Minot had not expected.
The Souris river is unusual in North America. It flows out of Canada, down past Minot, then turns north and flows back into Canada. The Canadians have three dams upstream from Minot, two on the Souris and one on a tributary. On the U.S. side, the river upstream has a number of flood control structures including the Lake Darling dam.
It has continued to rain. In Canada, the Souris basin saw 4-7 inches of rain this past weekend. The reservoirs are near capacity and the Canadians have been forced to increase discharges to prevent overtopping the dams. All that water is headed south.
Environment Canada has historical a current data on rainfall. Two stations are in the area where rainfall would affect the Souris River basin.
Estevan, Saskatchewan, is being flooded by the river. From 1971 to 2000, the community experienced an average of 5.1 inches of rain for the months of May and June. in 2011, Estevan received 12.5 inches of rain in May and June through the 20th.
Macoun, Saskatchewan, is some 22 kilometers northwest of Estevan and also near the Souris. For the same 1971 to 200 time frame, this community averaged 5.4 inches of rain for the months of May and June. Macoun received 12.1 inches of rain for May and June 2011 (June 20th).
The Lake Darling dam and the other flood control structures on the U.S. side are primarily intended to regulate the water level in the lakes and marshes that make up the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge and its associated wildlife refuges. The region is an important part of the migration route for several species of wild fowl and a vital nesting habitat.
The Souris River at Sherwood, ND, is just south of the border. The National Weather Service has a flood gauge there when flooding is occurring. The Sherwood flood gauge webpage also provides a five day projection of future river levels. The present projection is a record crest around June 26.
Downstream from the Lake Darling dam is the Foxholm, ND, flood gauge. The Souris River is currently at a record level and is expected to crest on or after June 26 at over three feet higher than the record.
Just above Minot on the Souris is the Minot 4NW flood gauge. The crest is expected on or after June 26 and may be just over the existing record.
In downtown Minot, the Minot river gauge at the Broadway Bridge is going to tell the tale of the flood in the city. The river is expected to crest on or after June 26, at a record level. Projections have varied but the latest shows a new record crest 1.5 feet higher than the former record. Previous projections had the crest at an even higher level and that may still occur.
Table of contents for Minot flood 2011
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 at 10:03 pm and is filed under Disasters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.