ND National Guard prepares for spring flood

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (KVLY) A new flood outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there's still a significant risk of a snow melt flood for the Red River and Devils Lake Basin.

And today dozens of National Guard members met in Jamestown to act out scenarios and prepare for the worst as the spring melt inches closer.

"We understand that this flood fight may be a little different than the ones that we've had in the past. So, we try to anticipate different types of scenarios like reinforcing levees, to dealing with ice jams," Commander Leo Ryan with the N.D. Army National Guard says.

Officials say it's too early for any concrete predictions, as much of the 'what-if's' rely on how the month of March pans out.

"The eastern part of the state has a lot of snow-pack, and we were really wet going into the fall. So, it's likely Jamestown and east, somewhere in there, is probably some of our more likely scenarios," N.D. National Guard Director of Military Support, Tad Schauer said.

The eastern parts of the were most of today's scenarios, specifically Harwood, Wahpeton and Lamoure County. Guard members planned where both extra members and equipment will be needed and which parts of the state those resources will come from.

Members from the West told members there's 'not a lot of concern in Bismarck and Burleigh County,' and said the National Guard 'will be the last resort for the northwest region.'

Commander Ryan says they rely on both actions taken in previous floods, along with what mitigations have been made in those areas when playing out scenarios. He says he thinks this year's flood will call for smaller crews spread cross several different areas.

Many of today's scenarios focused around evacuating residents, concerns of livestock and washed out roads, as well as plans for dealing with ice jams.

"We'll look at supporting larger communities, but we also need to support the local, smaller communities and the rural areas as well," Schauer said.