Floods overwhelm North Dakota levees; floods kill 175 in China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2011

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Flood waters from North Dakota's Souris River are pouring over the levees protecting Minot, North Dakota today, and flood heights are expected to rise to the highest levels in recorded history tonight. The Lake Darling flood control reservoir located about 15 miles upstream from Minot is full to overflowing, and record releases of water are occurring to prevent the lake's dam from over-topping. By this weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers will open the dam's flood gates to a maximum flow rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second, which is roughly double the flow rate that the levees in Minot can handle. Water began flowing over the levees yesterday, forcing the mandatory evacuation of 12,000 residents. By Sunday, water levels on the Souris River are expected to peak at four feet above the previous all-time flood height, set in 1881. Torrential rainfall in Canada on Sunday and Monday, combined with very heavy rainfall and snow melt over North Dakota over the past month, are responsible for the record flood. The Souris River Basin near the Rafferty Dam in Saskatchewan received four to seven inches of rain Sunday into Monday. Flood heights along the Souris River near the Canadian border upstream from Minot are already two feet above the previous all-time highest mark, and that pulse of water is now arriving in Minot. The unprecedented flood is expected to keep much of Minot underwater for at least two weeks. Fortunately, no new heavy rains are expected over the next five days, though up to 1/2" of rain could fall over portions of the Souris River watershed.


Figure 1. Still frame from a Youtube video of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota flowing over the levees in that town. The video was shot on Wednesday June 22, 2011, from a North Dakota National Guard helicopter.


Figure 2. Observed (blue line) and forecast (green line) stage of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota. The river is currently at its 3rd highest level on record, and is expected to rise above the record flood stage of 1558' tonight. The record was set back in 1881. Image credit: NOAA AHPS.

Record rains in China kill 175, do $5 billion in damage
Torrential rains triggered severe flooding in eastern China this week, with the death toll for June floods now standing at 175, with 86 people missing. Ironically, the same region experienced severe drought at the beginning of June. The estimated $5 billion in damage from the floods would make 2011 the third most expensive year for floods in China in the past decade. This year is the second consecutive year floods have caused exceptional damage in China. Last year, Western China saw summer precipitation more than 200% above average, and torrential monsoon rains triggered catastrophic landslides that killed 2137 people and did $759 million in damage. Monsoon floods in China killed an additional 1911 people, affected 134 million, and did $18 billion in damage in 2010, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This was the 2nd most expensive flooding disaster in Chinese history, behind the $30 billion price tag of the 1998 floods that killed 3656 people. China had floods in 1915, 1931, and 1959 that killed 3 million, 3.7 million, and 2 million people, respectively, but no damage estimates are available for these floods. During the period 2000 - 2009, China averaged $3.7 billion in damage and 674 deaths per year due to floods and landslides, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. This does not include the toll from typhoons. Speaking of typhoons, Tropical Storm Meari, currently located a few hundred miles east of the Philippines' Luzon Island, is expected to track north-northwestwards towards China today and Friday. By Saturday, Meari is expected to be a Category 1 typhoon, and will spread heavy rains over eastern China, worsening the flooding situation there--though the heaviest rains will likely remain offshore.



Figure 3. Rainfall amounts in excess of 18 inches (450 mm) fell in Eastern China southeast of Shanghai in a 1-week period, June 13 -19, 2011. A China Daily report from June 18 described the rains in parts of Zhejiang Province as unprecedented. High waters broke 100-meter (300-foot) holes in levees, inundating nearby villages. Some homes were buried in 3 meters (10 feet) of water. This image is based on data from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis produced at Goddard Space Flight Center, which estimates rainfall by combining measurements from many satellites and calibrating them using rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Image credit: NASA.



Figure 4. Visitors watch as water gushes out from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River in Central China's Henan province, June 22, 2011. Image credit: Xinhua.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, but several models, including the NOGAPS and GFS, are predicting that a tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression could form in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche Tuesday or Wednesday. There will be a strong ridge of high pressure over the Gulf next week, which would tend to keep any storm that might form far to the south, with impacts limited to Mexico and perhaps South Texas.

Jeff Masters

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Well,,3 gal is a min for subjective use really.

My K experience showed that one can supplement in a Large Scale Disaster with some ingenuity.

We garnered water from Water Heaters,pools,and jacuzzi's even. Also we had the local VFD help in relief to those who were without until help en masse arrived post Storm by 4-5 days.

Unfortunately we lost scores to the heat as it was the enemy post flood, not the actual floodwater.
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XX/AOI/XX
MARK
24.80N/94.55W
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#168 Thanks again Patrap. I kept finding different answers, mostly using 2 gal per person per day but that did not seem enough to me considering you are going to be cooking with it as well as using some for cooking. Edit, I ment also drinking it
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170. beell
Very rough and VERY unofficial sketch of the 1566' msl contour line on the N and S side of the Souris River Valley through Minot, ND.

Elevations drop off fairly quickly towards the river to around 1550-1554'msl. On the east side, even lower; 1540-1545' msl.

Photobucket

Direct Link to Sketch
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
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Quoting FtMyersgal:

Pat, how may gallons of water per day per person is recommended to keep in your supply kit. We are on city water BUT, that could get contaminated so I want to make sure we have that issue covered. TYIA


Thats a good question as its a critical staple.

I use the 3gal per day, per person rule.
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Quoting Patrap:
Are you ready for a hurricane?

Pat, how may gallons of water per day per person is recommended to keep in your supply kit. We are on city water BUT, that could get contaminated so I want to make sure we have that issue covered. TYIA
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this is what I think will happen with TS Arlene

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Petrobras is a responsible Oil Driller.

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Quoting HouTxGal:


Thanks Patrap! I have some of these items checked off, but I seem to have forgotten some of the others. It's funny how you assume that you're ready (just because you've been there before) when you really aren't! :(



Always good to review now and be prepared when show time arrives.
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Quoting Patrap:
Are you ready for a hurricane?


Thanks Patrap! I have some of these items checked off, but I seem to have forgotten some of the others. It's funny how you assume that you're ready (just because you've been there before) when you really aren't! :(
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Quoting Patrap:
Full-screen
Station 42360
Petrobras
Location: 26.700N 90.46W
Conditions as of:
Thu, 23 Jun 2011 17:00:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 13.6 kt gusting to 17.5 kt
Significant Wave Height: 3.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 6 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.92 in and falling
Air Temperature: 83.5 F
Water Temperature: 85.6 F
I always thought that ob site interesting. They are doing a power law correction for that site to a 10 meter height for the winds before they share with NDBC. Most non-NDBC ob sites do not do that. Heck, most NDBC and NOS sites do not do that.

"Anemometers are located at 3 meters above sea level but they are corrected to 10 meters by the owner."
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station =42360

In fact, many non-NDBC sites do not even share the anemometer height: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/non_ndbc_heights.txt
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Hopefully....it's building......



It rained where I work in FWB, lasted about 10 minutes, just enought to knock the dust down. By the looks of the radar most of it missed my house. This scattered rain in NW FL isn't doing a lot of us any favors sad to say.
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These three tweets are scary. These people have been contracted to help build and shore up levees.

@AEengineers
Ackerman-Estvold
All residents outside the evacuation areas in the valley need to immediately begin the evacuation process. #MinotFlood

@AEengineers
Ackerman-Estvold
Water from the Lake Darling to Minot is moving with more velocity. Peaks are expected to hit Minot within 24 hours. #MinotFlood

@AEengineers
Ackerman-Estvold
Update: EMERGENCY TRAVEL ONLY IN MINOT AT THIS TIME. http://ht.ly/5oWUJ #MinotFlood

http://ht.ly/5oWUJ = Facebook update:
Update: EMERGENCY TRAVEL ONLY IN MINOT AT THIS TIME....north/south routes are closed and the only route to get between North and South Minot at this time is the bypass...which is bottle necked due to traffic. PLEASE...EMERGENCY TRAVEL ONLY. -KX News Minot]

Effective immediately, Broadway has been closed from Burdick Expressway to University Avenue. This will provide contractors more efficient access to secondary dikes. -City of Minot
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Hopefully....it's building......

Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1496
Seems so.
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Quoting Patrap:


Looks like we might get some more tonight pat
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:



Mean B/A high position is troubling to me. It's going to be a rough year for the states, IMO.


Look at this animation. Last time I saw anything like this was 1841. That is a strong high.


Link
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145. Skyepony (Mod)
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facebook page
Minot Souris River Flood Information ND
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143. DDR
I wonder if IKE is getting rain,i hope he does.
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Are you ready for a hurricane?
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Quoting Grothar:



Mean B/A high position is troubling to me. It's going to be a rough year for the states, IMO.
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Esp when ya behind COE Levee's and above sea Level.....1566ft



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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Latest news from Minot ND is the COE
notice of higher release rates upstream leading to the predicted crest
being about THREE FEET higher than previously thought

from peak of 1562.5 predicted to now possible 1566

not good
via

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kxmcweathercenter


Been watching that one, and here too.
http://www.kmot.com/Video_LIVE_Coverage.asp#conta iner
Tough when 25% of your population has to evacuate.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


omg thats unreal. look at bay county. its like bone dry with a giant purple and red blotch right beside it! I cant take it anymore ayyyyyyyyyyyy*&%&^%&^$ *snap*
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Quoting 69Viking:


You might in Destin but it looks like us in FWB are going to be in the dry area between storms that are going through Pensacola to Crestview and Storms in the Gulf lined up to hit Destin! We've had some bad luck lately with rains.


We've finally had about 1.75 inches here in the last 24 hours. Most of it in the last couple of hours. About time, most have had us surrounded, just like you. Looks like Ike is getting a good drenching right now too.
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Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
12z cmc is slighty farther south on this run


High Pressure has been the dominant force this year in the south. I agree with Dr. Masters in that this will most likely stay south, maybe edge into southern Texas.
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Clouds are darkening in Houston - very juicy atmosphere (finally!)



C'mon rain!!!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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