River cresting nears in Minot, N.D., fight continues
by Airman 1st Class Jessica McConnell
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
6/26/2011 - MINOT, N.D. (AFNS) -- In the mayor's June 25 press conference here, he provided important updates on the flooding situation, which currently is affecting some 11,000 residents and more than 1,100 Airmen and their families.
According to a National Weather Service representative, the Souris River is now predicted to crest at 1561.8 feet which is expected to last through June 28, and will then drop below 1560 feet in approximately one week.
Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, the North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, reinforced the importance of remaining vigilant as the Souris River nears its peak level.
"It is important to maintain our ability to provide the highest level of protection we can for the community up and down the Souris River," he said. "We've had more than 850 Soldiers and Airmen working here throughout the last couple of days and we'll certainly continue to do so. We respond to quick-reaction force needs that the city may have."
Earlier in the day the general said a problem arose with a pedestrian bridge near Broadway, one of the main arteries to the city of Minot.
"Our Soldiers and Airmen have been working on the pedestrian bridge," he said. "It has been blocking a lot of debris flowing downriver, causing the actual bridge itself to move. Our Soldiers and Airmen are hooking up larger equipment and positioning them so that if the bridge were to detach, we can immediately pull it out."
The bridge isn't the only area in need of help. Soldiers and Airmen are spread out all over Ward County, doing anything needed to keep the water away from what's left of the city.
"We also have Soldiers and Airmen downstream and in Burlington," the general said. "We'll continue to support them, providing our men and women in uniform to help with anything from sandbagging to building levees in specific locations. We've also been placing quite a few of our one-ton sandbags with our Black Hawk helicopters and those have been used primarily to shore up storm sewer systems to prevent back-water behind the levees."
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