| MINOT, N.D., June 26
MINOT, N.D., June 26 The Souris River crested
at historic heights in the North Dakota city of Minot on Sunday
but emergency levees held, providing respite to officials
battling to keep areas dry.
The Souris, which flows from Canada southeast into North
Dakota, rose early on Sunday morning to almost four feet (1.2
meters) above the 130-year-old record it shattered on Friday,
according to the National Weather Service.
There have been no reported deaths or injuries in the
biggest flood in area history but floodwaters have all but
swallowed more than 3,000 homes and displaced more than 12,000
Minot is the state's fourth largest city.
"Even though this crest has passed, there is still a
tremendous amount of water," U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
spokesman Jeffrey DeZellar said.
DeZellar added that rain dumped by thunderstorms late on
Saturday had pooled in shallow ponds on the land-side of some
area levees, forcing workers to wade or drive through them.
The storms did not cause any of the flood water to swell
Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman said water levels will remain
high for several days and praised the fortitude of the
residents displaced by mandatory evacuations.
Officials' attention has turned to displaced residents,
more than 12,000 of whom heeded mandatory evacuation calls.
Some moved in with friends or family, but more than 250
people were holed up in Red Cross shelters at a city auditorium
and Minot State University or at the Minot Air Force Base.
The massive flooding in Minot has overshadowed temporarily
the widening deluge along the Missouri River that threatens
cities all the way from Montana to Missouri.
Federal officials have pushed record water releases from
six reservoirs along the Upper Missouri River that are near
capacity because of a deep melting snowpack and heavy rains.
Those reservoirs have little capacity for additional rain,
and record releases are expected to continue through August,
causing widespread flooding in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.
Heavy rains across the Souris River Basin left Canadian
reservoirs over capacity. Water rushing down from Canada has
forced U.S. officials to make record-large releases from the
Lake Darling Dam above Minot and other communities.
(Writing by Eric Johnson; Editing by Tim Gaynor)