Warmer weather puts roads under water
BEMIDJI — Residents of Jackson Avenue were more or less cut off from the outside world Sunday night.
That’s when the dead-end road in a lowland area near Oak Hills Christian College was closed because a long stretch was covered with water, a result of melting snow under the warm sun this weekend.
“I run the day care next door, so I called everybody and said we’re closed for the day,” said Kim Week on Monday morning. “One of my day care parents said they would throw supplies across the water if we needed it.”
By Monday morning, the moat was about six inches deep. A culvert drained like a flowing stream into the ditch next to the road.
Beltrami County Emergency Management released a list of a handful of roads that were closed Sunday night. Officials also cautioned drivers about many other stretches of road that were partially under water in townships across the county.
Week and other residents received a call from Beltrami County’s automated emergency notification system, CodeRED, about the high waters Sunday night.
Beryl Wernberg, the Beltrami County emergency management director, said Monday the water was going down “quite well.” She said crews have been working to keep culverts clear.
“Any culverts that are frozen, they’re steaming,” Wernberg said. “But what we’re not seeing so much, which is good, is the running water that washes the road out.”
John Rowles, Bemidji Township roads supervisor, advised residents to be cautious when driving.
“All this melting all at once has created flooding all over,” Rowles said. “It’s just something that happened really fast this year… But we haven’t had any serious problems.
“People just have to be alert and pay attention.”
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Transportation was cautioning motorists about a section of State Highway 200 approximately 10 miles east of Mahnomen that was partially underwater Monday afternoon.