Many Harwood area residents unfazed by alarms of major flood

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HARWOOD, N.D. (Valley News Live) As the Sheyenne River reaches “major flood stage,” Cass County officials are raising the alarm in the Harwood area.

Yet, many residents said on Saturday they’ve seen worse.

“I’ve lived out here for quite a few years and this is nothing compared to year’s past,” Josh Dieber said.

Dieber lives in Harwood city limits and his view was shared by a neighbor a few doors down.

“It’s always a concern, but I think we’ll be ok,” Cari Lake said.

A drive through Harwood showed flood waters approaching people’s backyards. The Sheyenne River is also within a few feet from nearly touching a roadway bridge.

Numerous access roads have also closed in and around town.

Further north from Harwood, overland flooding is the main concern for residents.

“Once the flood waters gets up and people lose access, they need to be prepared for about a week,” Cass County Engineer Jason Benson said.

Benson said residents in the Harwood area shouldn’t take the flood so lightly.

“This whole region turns into a three-mile wide, ten-mile long lake with expansive flooding,” Benson said.

This flooding in particular is unusual, according to Benson. The high water on the Maple River is breaking out into the lower Rush River, which feeds into the Sheyenne River.

“We don't want to alarm people, but we want to make sure they're informed and are ready for what's coming,” Benson said.

Homeowner Lloyd Amundson has been living along 28th St SE, just north of town, for years. He agrees with Benson that this flood is unusual.

“It's more of a western Cass County event than other years have been,” Amundson said. “Usually the water comes from out there, does its thing, and then flushes out. And now it's the other way around this year.”

Either way, Amundson said he’s prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws his way. He already raised the buildings on his property and filled low-lying areas with dirt.

If anyone is in need of sandbags, they should call the Cass County Flood Hotline at 701-241-8000.