N.D. town on edge, dams holding for now

May 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM

CAVALIER, N.D., May 22 (UPI) -- Cavalier, N.D., remained virtually closed Wednesday as water gathered in the Tongue River watershed, and residents and crews monitored dams in the region.

Police blocked off all entrances to Cavalier -- a town of 1,300 in Pembina County -- where a mandatory evacuation order was issued Tuesday due to rising waters, The Forum of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., reported Wednesday.

The area received about 9 inches of rainfall from Friday to Tuesday.

Walsh County State's Attorney Barbara Whelan, who also serves as Pembina County assistant state's attorney, said Renwick Dam, 5 miles west of Cavalier, and a series of retention dams behind it were holding Wednesday, after construction crews added 2 to 3 feet to a temporary section on the dam spillway.

"All the dams are operating," Whelan said. "We have had no dam failures."

Whelan said water was still rising, but at a decreasing rate.

"The dam is being monitored 24-7, and volunteers are walking the dam," she said.

Whelan said plans call for a Red Cross shelter to be shut down at 9 p.m. Wednesday unless demand for shelter rebounds.

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