SEARCH

Entries in Flood (4)

Friday
Jun242011

Souris River Hits Record High Flood Level in Minot, N.D.

Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Thinkstock(MINOT, N.D.) -- The continuously rising Souris River has already broken a record high, set in 1881, in Minot, N.D., and it's still rising.

The historic flooding has forced more than 11,000 people from their homes, and giraffes, lions and other animals from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot have been relocated to new homes.

Shelters continue to fill up. The flooding has already made the local history books, and it is not done yet.

"The water is coming in deeper and faster than was expected," North Dakota's governor, Jack Dalrymple, said Friday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released pent-up water from the Lake Darling Dam, which will push water downstream toward Minot at 29,000 cubic feet per second -- more than three times the record flow rate before this year and double the projections just four days ago. Those raging waters are expected to start pushing against the already buckling makeshift Minot levees rated to withstand water flows of up to about 9,500 cfs, according to WDAY.

The Souris River reached 1,558.52 feet above sea level at 12 p.m. Friday at the city's Broadway Bridge, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the river will crest at 1,564.5 feet by early Sunday, or 15.5 feet above flood stage. The level is expected to begin slowly falling early on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a few miles upstream, the town of Burlington, located where the Souris and Des Lacs Rivers converge, has given up sandbagging as a hopeless endeavor. The town of 1,000 people is expected to lose a third of its 320 homes to flooding.

"We're no longer able to save the city," Burlington mayor Jerome Gruenberg said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Tanganyika Wildlife Park, in Wichita, has taken in nine animals from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, including three giraffes, two lions, a Siberian tiger, a Bengal tiger and two Amur leopards.

Other animals were sent to zoos in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, while some are being housed in a warehouse in Minot outside of the flood zone.

Minot is also home to more than just families and exotic animals -- Minuteman III nuclear missile silos are also in the flood's path. At least two silos are being protected by sandbags and pumps, but are reported to be safe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Mississippi River Flooding: More Floodgates Opened at Morganza Spillway

Scott Olson/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- The Army Corps of Engineers opened two additional gates at the Mississippi River's Morganza Spillway Monday, unleashing a wall of water which is now flowing into the spillway at a rate greater than that of Niagara Falls -- more than 100,000 cubic feet per second.

At that rate it would take just over an hour and a half to cover the entire island of Manhattan in a foot of water. So far only 11 of the 125 gates have been opened and the Corps plans to open more as the river rises.

The Corps began flooding the spillway on Saturday, opening the floodgates for the first time in 40 years. The goal is to divert the record-high waters of the Mississippi away from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, choosing to risk smaller communities in an attempt to avert disaster in the most populous cities.

The Mississippi River crest is not expected to arrive at the Morganza spillway for at least a week and mandatory evacuations are already underway in many places. Neighborhoods in the water's path have turned to ghost towns with sheriff's deputies and members of the National Guard going door to door telling residents to pack up and get out.

President Obama met privately Monday with families and local officials affected by the flooding in Memphis. He heard their stories and praised their resilience.

Following the meeting, he delivered a commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School where he spoke of the response to the series of natural disasters that have hit the country this spring.

"The success of our economy will depend on your skills, but the success of our community will depend on your ability to follow the Golden Rule -- to treat others as you would like to be treated," he said. "We've seen how important this is even in the past few weeks, as communities in Memphis and all across the South have banded together to deal with floodwaters and to help each other in the aftermath of terrible tornadoes."

Once the water hits it could be as long as three months before it goes down. In Mississippi, 4,000 people are already waterlogged and the river is supposed to crest in Vicksburg, Miss., on Thursday. For those in Louisiana, all they can do is work and wait.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May132011

Mississippi Floods: Spillway to Be Opened in Louisiana

Scott Olson/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- Louisiana residents are being warned Friday: The Army Corps of Engineers will open the Morganza spillway along the Mississippi River by Sunday, flooding millions of acres of rural farmland and sparing big cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

"This is a historic amount of water," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

"Some people may think, 'Well, the house is not underwater yet,'" Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. "But they don't know the road is closed, may become closed. So if in doubt, people should get out. We want people to be evacuated, not have to be rescued."

As much as 25 feet of water will spill out over 100 miles, displacing 2,500 people. In addition, 22,500 people and 11,000 structures in the backwater areas could be flooded.

If the gates remained closed and the levees along the Mississippi failed, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could both be flooded -- leaving a disaster worse than Katrina.

Inspectors are making daily checks of the levees that surround New Orleans.

"All indications are that the levees that have been inspected on a regular basis for some time, they're all holding and we are expecting them to do so," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Other low-lying areas are not faring as well. The Mississippi River has been breaking high-water records that have stood since the 1920s and '30s.

Barbour told residents to prepare for the worst, though he said the main levee was holding along the river.

President Obama is expected to meet with families affected by flooding along the river when he travels to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. Friday, Republicans on the House Appropriations panel awarded $850 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) for disaster payments.

The Coast Guard also is likely to close the river to barge traffic next week, costing the U.S. economy $295 million a day. It's just the latest in a costly year of extreme weather disasters.

The massive Mississippi floods -- a seven-state, 560-mile liquid trail -- are adding to the nation's laundry list of expensive destruction. Already, there have been five separate billion-dollar storms and floods this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio ´╗┐

Sunday
May082011

Mississippi River Expected to Crest in Memphis Early Tuesday

Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects[dot]net/Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- The Mississippi River continues to rise in Memphis, Tennessee, with forecasts predicting that the river will crest sometime early Tuesday morning.

Officials predict that the river will get up to 48 feet, just seven inches shy of its all-time flood high set back in 1937.

Tennessee’s governor Bill Haslam has asked President Obama to declare 15 counties as federal disaster areas as the river continues to rise. Should the president grant Haslam’s request, those areas designated as disaster areas would have access to federal assistance programs. Haslam declared a state of emergency on April 26, in light of the forecast of the Mississippi River flooding.

On Saturday the Memphis/Shelby County Emergency Management Agency issued a flood warning, advising area residents to wrap up precautionary actions in the coming days and be prepared to evacuate.

The Mississippi River is expected to remain above flood stage Memphis until May 25.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio