MN National Guard steps in to help at Bourbanis Dam

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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PEMBINA COUNTY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota National Guard is helping in northeastern North Dakota after an Emergency Management Assistance Compact request.

Emergency Management officials needed a helicopter capable of placing water pumps weighing more than five tons each into the Bourbanis Dam in Pembina County. A CH-47 Chinook from the St. Paul-based Company B, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment, assisted North Dakota Soldiers on Friday, May 6.

The helicopter lifted two pumps leased from a private contractor into locations designated by the Pembina County Water Resource District. The pumps are intended to begin the drawdown of the pool to minimize flow on the damaged spillway.

Access to Bourbanis Dam is restricted to authorized personnel on official business only. The area is closed to the public due to the sensitive nature of the repair and continued flood risk. People driving around road closed signs or entering the flood control property will be subject to criminal prosecution.

Pembina County officials say the remaining Tongue River dams are performing as designed and levels are being monitored closely. ND Highway 5 will remain closed due to the level of risk from the damaged spillway.

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