City of Grafton Prepping for Potential Major Flood

Crews have started to bring in supplies to build clay temporary levees.

GRAFTON, N.D. — The city of Grafton is fighting back against the flood waters.

Crews have started to stock up to build temporary levees.

“Starting tomorrow, there will be temporary dikes built at 5th street at McHugh Avenue and across at the campground entrance,” said Deputy Chief Alex Droske with the Grafton Police Department. “We will also be closing Wakeman Avenue.”

It’s not the first time Grafton has faced high waters.

“It can be relatively severe. Some of the bigger floods in 1950 and 1979…most of the city of Grafton was covered in water at that time,” explained Walsh County Emergency Manager Brent Nelson.

The city is anticipating flooding could happen as early as Wednesday.

That’s why preparation is prioritized for the area that’s home to about 4,500 people.

“Their main focus is going to be building some temporary levees along the park and a few other areas,” explained Nelson. “When the river does reach flood stage and above, they can contain it within the city park and within the flood way rather than coming into the city.”

The walls made up of clay are meant to contain water and keep it from coming into the city.

Starting Tuesday this area will be closed and temporary dikes will be put up across the road.

“Police officers, as well as the general public, will┬ábe out doing dike walking,” said Droske. “They’ll be monitoring the dikes if there is any type of a breach. They will be walking around, monitoring all the areas.”

“Right now, if those levels hold, the city should be able to contain that with the temporary levees without having any major impact on the city,” said Nelson. “But if one of those levees fails, it would primarily be the northwest part of town that would be impacted.”

Nelson said individuals should make sure their sump pumps are working correctly and their sewer pipes are plugged to prevent any back up.

“At the moment, we aren’t anticipating that anybody would have to leave,” he added. “But they need to be prepared just in case so that they have their medicine and personal items ready to go.”

Both Walsh County Emergency Management and Grafton Police will be updating its Facebook pages with information as the river rises.

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