State of emergency declared after major erosion damage

The city of Mayville has declared a state of emergency to repair a breached sidewall of the city’s dam. Rapid Erosion is causing utility and property damage, along with threatening one Mayville home.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - “This definitely is a tragedy,” said Mayville mayor, Steve Bensen.

One sidewall of the Mayville Dam gave out last week. Now, the Goose River has changed its course, creating a dangerous situation.

“What’s been happening is the water’s been running around the dam, so it’s been eroding out the southside of the bank, so right now the city hired a contractor and the goal is to return the river back to its original flow channel,” said city engineer for the city of Mayville, Brandon Reber.

Reber said contractors are placing boulders from local gravel pits into the water to create a makeshift bridge, this way they can drive over it and reach the failed sidewall of the dam to temporarily fix it.

“Think of this more like triage so at this point in time we’re just trying to fix the erosion issue,” said Reber.

Reber and the mayor of Mayville, Steve Bensen, said the dam dates back to the early 1900′s, but no one anticipated this to happen.

“We’re hoping these things don’t happen again, this was definitely a surprise,” said Bensen.

The city declared a state of emergency when the erosion quickly began creeping into the front yard of a Mayville home.

Although Reber said they don’t have a timeline as to when they may finish, contractors have been working nonstop to get the river back on track.

“Long-term plan whether it’s a removal of the dam or replacement of the dam, that’s a conversation for once we get this area settled,” said Bensen.

Mayor Bensen said this may affect people to the North and East of the river, including the golf course, but he said the city won’t know until later.

According to the city, the highway is still open but all side roads in the immediate area are closed.

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