INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 05, 2011, 06:53 PM

Water taking over in rural North Dakota

Chaffee, ND (WDAY TV) - It wasn't that long ago that creeks and rivers in our area would dry up enough that farmers during harvest could almost drive across them. Not this year.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

It wasn't that long ago that creeks and rivers in our area would dry up enough that farmers during harvest could almost drive across them. Not this year. Because of the recent spring flood, Cass County and its townships hosted 600 different flood sites. From missing culverts to washouts nearly a mile long. Today, FEMA and the state of North Dakota continued to document the expensive damage.

In a picturesque valley surrounding the Maple River in rural Cass County, one thing is missing. A quiet meandering creek….

Instead, the fast flowing Maple this spring and then again days ago, roaring through farm country, near Chafee. And so today, the state and FEMA took a look at and inspected yet another washout that has taken out a road well traveled in rural Cass County.

Ric Kupitz – Inspector: “And the county is looking at how much can we invest in this so we don't spend 20-thousand the next year and the next year.”

Clearly this river has a mind of its own, the river bank that used to hug this culvert has been washed away by the rain swollen Maple and is back 140 yards away.

Jann Tracy – FEMA: “An ongoing flood not a typical year where it floods in the spring and early summer and we get to work on it, it is not like that it is going on and on the more rain we have the more damage on it.”

It's a problem for the farm families that live here. From the mailman to the school bus driver to farmers like Tim Torgerson, it comes down to an inconvenience and time lost. And the harvest is here.

Tim Torgerson – Farmer: “Pasture and farmland up here otherwise we go 5 miles around this way and 5 that way. Everything goes all the way around, probably half hour extra.”

What concerns and baffles many is this. We fight water in the spring. It's August now, and our dry, dreary dog days of summer have been nothing to howl about.

FEMA pays for 75% of the costs for repairing roads and bridges. The state and county or township pick up the rest of the tab.

Tags: