ByÂ Associated Press
MINOT, N.D. — Officials here say they’ve done all they can to protect sewer and water service from the flooding Souris River.
Mayor Curt Zimbelman said Thursday evening that dikes have been raised as much as possible around the city’s sewer lift station and can’t be raised any higher. Zimbelman says the city is confident the water plant is protected.
Officials expanded the city’s evacuation zone earlier in the day to include about 400 more people, but they say that advisory is voluntary. Some 10,000 people were evacuated earlier by order.
And in states farther down the Missouri River system, flooding is still occurring.
The Souris was trickling over dikes and levees in some parts of the city and stands several feet deep in some areas. But the highest water isn’t expected until the weekend.
Accelerated releases from an upstream dam into the Souris River led officials to recommend more evacuations and close a major bridge.
Swollen by heavy rains and snowmelt far upstream, the Souris has risen rapidly since the weekend. On Thursday, officials accelerated the release of water from the Lake Darling dam and said that could raise the river 2 to 3 feet higher than earlier projections.
Officials also announced the closure of the Broadway Bridge, shutting down a key north-south artery in the city. Major traffic jams were reported Thursday afternoon and officials asked residents not to travel north unless it’s an emergency.
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