North Dakota and South Dakota are bracing for floods, after torrential rain and record snowmelt have contributed to rising flood waters in the Missouri River basin.
Montana, North and South Dakota are experiencing the worst of the flooding. Authorities are evacuating parts of Minot, North Dakota. South Dakota’s governor has urged citizens to evacuate parts of the capital before Missouri River flood levels rise further. Flooding of the Souris River has broken records set in the floods of 1976 and 1969.
National Guard soldiers, contractors and volunteers have been working urgently to expand levees in North and South Dakota cities facing rising flood waters, including in the capitals of both states.
Six reservoirs in the Upper Missouri River are either full of near full, so U.S. Army engineers are having to release water that will flow downstream and add to the already swollen river level.
As the Missouri River is part of the Mississippi River system, engineers have waited to release water, in order not to add to the already record Mississippi flooding to the south. The released water will take about two weeks to reach the Mississippi River near St. Louis.
Mandatory evacuations over the coming days are expected to involve over 10,000 people.
North Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen filling sandbags in 2009: Image CC licensed by simminch