Officials eyeing Valley City levees with rain in forecast
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (KVRR) – With more rain on the forecast for this weekend, Valley City is preparing for another flood warning but they might feel more prepared this time.
With some areas of Valley City underwater, the Army Corps of Engineers is helping the city monitor the Sheyenne River’s water levels from the Baldhill Dam, making sure the city is ready to take on more rainwater.
“What we were really focusing on is working with the city of Valley City to build temporary levees in and around the community to raise their level of flood protection up to a point where we can successfully increase our outflow out of the dam. What that does is two fold: we’re buying additional storage capacity ahead of this forecast rain event and by increasing the temporary levee elevation we can safely pass that water through their community without causing any flood damages,” Deputy Affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Patrick Moes said.
They collaborate with partners in other levels of government to assess risks so they can come up with shared solutions like creating walls of sand or building more levees so the river doesn’t overflow.
“Primary mission of the Corps of Engineers is disaster response. What we do with that is really work with the communities as best we can to mitigate where possible and to really focus on that disaster response and building whether it be temporary levees if time permits or working with them to deal with the situation on a debris removal,” Moes said.
The Baldhill Dam continues its major impact protecting roads across Valley City.
“We’re releasing about 4,000 cubic feet every second out the dam as we speak. To give you a comparison, it’s about 4,000 basketballs passing by every second. We anticipate increasing that outflow in the next two to three days based on conditions and really what we’re doing is working with the community to both monitor the temporary levees as these rain events happen and we will make adjustments based on the conditions,” Moes said.
The Sheyenne River is in moderate flood stage and expected to crest in major flood stage at 18.5 feet on Tuesday. That’s two feet below the 2009 record.