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Published March 16, 2011, 08:15 PM

Belcourt, ND, Still Shaken from Early Spring Flooding

Dialysis patients among most affected
Things in Belcourt, ND, still are not back to normal a month after a quick rise in the Ox Creek. No homes or businesses were lost, but the community is still shaken, and now they're working to prevent it from happening again.

Things in Belcourt, ND, still are not back to normal a month after a quick rise in the Ox Creek. No homes or businesses were lost, but the community is still shaken, and now they're working to prevent it from happening again.

Water continues to flow through the Ox Creek on the Turtle Mountain Reservation. But it's nothing like it was exactly a month ago.

"Right now the water is real low, everything is going great, the hospital is as good as it can be right now, they have barricaded the area," Tribal Emergency Manager Anita Blue said.

The dialysis center at the Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Hospital was one of the only places that took on water. Because of that, patients are still traveling to Trinity Hospital in Minot for treatment.

"Our patients continue to struggle with the trip to Minot. They are affected with the long hours. Their dialysis hours are from 6 p.m. until midnight so some of them get home at two in the morning," Tribal chair Merle St. Claire said.

The dialysis center is currently under-going renovation and has to be thoroughly cleaned and tested for mold. Tribal officials say machine, and lives, are to costly to lose, so they're working to prevent further damage to the hospital.

"With our emergency team, we are planning on getting some barricades that would be more permanent to put along the creek bed to prevent this from happening again," Blue said.

"The flooding has really made us look at our hospital, how it's vulnerable and susceptible to flooding," St. Claire said.

Stop logs are currently out of the dam, allowing water to drain. Blue says they have sandbags ready and are waiting to see what mother nature brings.

"The way we sit right now, we're feeling pretty good about everything. The water is flowing the way it should be, the little things we have to watch for is if a culvert gets blocked up and we get backflow," St. Claire said.

During flood season, Ox Creek and the city of Belcourt are on a 24/7 watch.

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