North Dakota residents evacuated due to flood fears

Jul 13, 2011

North Dakota residents evacuating

Just hours before the evacuation deadline hit, sirens began blaring in Minot, North Dakota, as the overflowing Souris River began to eclipse the local levees, according to ABC News.

Heavy rains have continued to swell Canadian reservoirs in the Souris River Basin, prompting officials to call for the city's evacuation earlier in the week. More than 12,000 residents were told to leave their homes over fears that the unprecedented release of water from the Lake Darling Dam above Minot will be double what the protections can bear, Reuters reports.

"What I see right now is probably the most devastating in terms of the number of people directly impacted and what will likely be the damage to homes as the water begins to overtop the levees and fill in behind," National Guard Commander Dave Sprynczynatyk told ABC.

Fears that people may lose their homes and their lives may have many people across the country reassessing their home and life insurance needs. Residents of Bismark, North Dakota and Pierre, South Dakota are also watching the level of the rising river, the media outlet reports.

Additional heavy rains in the Midwest this week have further compounded the pressure on the Missouri River basin. Amtrak has suspended service in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana due to flooding concerns.

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