Rain, rain, go away
BEMIDJI — Continued rainfall kept North Beltrami County in a flood watch for most of Tuesday and more rain was expected overnight before clearing later Wednesday and Thursday.
The National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D., issued a hazardous weather outlook Tuesday for much of northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, with flash flood warnings in some areas mostly in northeast North Dakota.
Rainfall totals of more than an 1.64 inches was recorded over the past three days in the Bemidji area, said Peter Rogers, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Grand Forks office. And while spring rains are not unusual, Rogers said “the amount of rain we’ve been getting for this time of year is a little high, though.”
The rain, which developed from a low pressure system above Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, has left many areas highly saturated and in some cases, flooded. Flash flooding was reported in several northeast North Dakota communities, including Cavalier and Crystal.
Beryl Wernberg, director of Beltrami County Emergency Management, said their offices had not received any tips of flooded roads and ditches as of Tuesday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported water over the highway at state Highway 200 east of Laporte, between Hubbard County roads 45 and 30. Speed limits were reduced and strategically placed flashers were put up to aid motorists with the high water levels, according to a press release.
Wernberg recommended anyone who encounters possible flooding report it right away.
“We just want to keep people safe,” Werberg said. “We’ll want to know things like how deep the water is, if it is covering the road or if it’s just in the ditches.”
Wernberg said local officials will be sent to survey the flooded area and emergency management officers will coordinate with township officials to determine if the road should be listed as unsafe and or to close it. Road conditions are listed on the Beltrami Emergency Management’s website.
“They should just call dispatch to report any flooding they might encounter, just to be safe,” Wernberg said.
If one should encounter a flooded road, Wernberg advises:
- Call (218) 333-8320. Report your location and the details of the flooded site.
- For a complete listing of road closures and natural disaster information in Beltrami County, visit http://emergencymanagement.co.beltrami.mn.us.
By Trent Opstedahl