The Latest On Cavalier Evacuation & Potential Dam Failure - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

The Latest On Cavalier Evacuation & Potential Dam Failure

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  Pembina County Emergency Manager, Andrew Kirking says a decision will be made on Thursday morning, as to when the evacuation order for Cavalier will be lifted.

   The potential failure of a dam near Cavalier will now keep the town's 13-hundred residents out of their homes for a second night in a row.

  Folks were evacuated Tuesday night. But, the good news is that water on the Renwick Dam west of town is now slowly dropping.

  Crews finished topping off a new levee over an old emergency spillway on the dam Tuesday night.   There was a lot of concern the rising Tongue River was going to overrun that old spillway and wash out the dam. However, the tongue River began leveling off this morning.

Dennis Reep, Conservation Service: "Yeah, we did drive out in the watershed and the Tongue River is down on Highway 32. Down quite a bit from yesterday, so that's good news."

  Meanwhile, besides a few law enforcement vehicles on the streets patrolling 24-7, the town of Cavalier 6-miles to the east….  is vacant.

  It's probably one of the quietist  Wednesday morning's in Cavalier's history. It feels like the Twilight Zone. There's not a person or car down here on Main Street.

  Authorities say only 12 people in town refused to leave their homes. Four of them are Stewart Gieger, his wife and 2 kids.

Stewart Gieger, Cavalier: "Didn't want to pack up and leave. They said we had 3-hours if it did break… that we had 3-hours to evacuate. I though I'd stick it out. Am I the only one?"

Reporter: "No, there's a few others."

Gieger:  "O.K.".

  Roadblocks remain in place to prevent people from returning to town. But, there's no definitive answer yet as to when that will be.

Barbara Whalen, Asst. County Attorney: "I can't say definitively not today. I can't say tomorrow. People are working on it and the main issue behind all this is public safety."

  Emergency officials stress that the water is still very high on this earthen dam that was built back in 1961. They say they'll continue to monitor it and lift the evacuation order as soon as they're convinced this dam, no longer poses a threat.



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