The Winter of 2016-2017 brought large amounts of snow to the northern James River Valley. A very warm end of February 2017 brought a snow melt to LaMoure County causing the streams and the James River to rise. Several township roads were closed this weekend due to the rising creeks. An unofficial crest of 11.09ft on Saturday, February 25, 2017 was seen at the LaMoure gauge on the James River. There will likely be another crest when the snow starts to melt north of Jamestown.
The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding. LaMoure County recent flood Presidential disaster declarations were in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
For more Flood Safety: http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
USGS website for North Dakota River Gauges: https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=nd
National Weather Service website for James River at LaMoure:
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The next meeting would be Thursday March 16, 2017.
The Committee meets quarterly, the first Thursday.