Flooding affecting travel in parts of ND, Minnesota

CAVALIER, N.D. (AP) — Excessive rainfall has caused flooding in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota where roads are closed and at least one small community is surrounded by water.

Neche, with a population of about 380, has become an island with the Pembina River cresting at 21.7 feet (661 centimeters), according to Pembina County Emergency Management spokeswoman Rebecca Flanders.

It’s anticipated that the water level in Neche will be consistent for the next several days to a week, Flanders said.

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About 16 miles to the south, officials asked residents in some parts of Cavalier to evacuate their homes due to the rising water.

The Pembina County Sheriff’s Office says some areas “will become inundated, and residents may be unable to leave due to flooded streets.”

Cavalier Mayor Lacey Hinkle said Monday a few people left their homes and moved to higher ground. Sandbagging continued around local businesses, Hinkle said.

Cavalier, the largest city in Pembina County with about 1,100 residents, is about 80 miles (128.7 kilometers) northwest of Grand Forks.

The region received between 1.5 inches (38 millimeters) and 2 inches (50.8 millimeters) of rain between Friday and Sunday as did Thief River Falls and Crookston in northwestern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Monday for Willow Creek near Willow City affecting McHenry and Bottineau counties and for the Red Lake River at Crookston, Minnesota.

Heavy rainfall has continued to cause rising levels on rivers within the Red Lake basin, the weather service said.

Roads remain closed in many locations due to flooding, including portions of Highways 54 and 18, as well as the Sorlie Bridge and the Point Bridge in Grand Forks.

In Pembina near the Canadian border, water is touching Interstate 29, but has not covered the road, according to emergency management officials. Sand is being delivered to the area and high school students will be volunteering to fill sand bags on Tuesday and Wednesday.